Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read.
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The Leaders We Need
This was originally published on July 5, 2022.
We all knew a kid in school who just had to run everything. Remember the classmate who insisted on picking the games you’d all play at recess, where you’d go after school, even who was “in” or “out” of your group? In high school, that kid had a compulsive need to be the leader of every student organization. You just wanted to say, “Hey! You’re not the boss of me!” Whatever happened to those kids? I wouldn’t be surprised if most ended up in government. We certainly have no shortage of people there who think they know how to live your life and spend your paycheck better than you do.
I’m convinced the world is divided into people who just want to live their own lives and those who, for some reason, have an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone else how to live. Unfortunately, to that latter group, government seems like the ideal place to work, and at the moment, they are getting 99.9% of all the attention from the media. As more of them gravitated toward government, Congress abdicated much of its legislating authority to unelected bureaucrats. Their bureaus grew like kudzu, and so did their regulations with the force of law (but no input from the people.) Then one day, we looked up and discovered we had a crushing national debt and were paying huge salaries to an army of people who enforce how big your soda should be and who couldn’t be fired and who is allowed to come into your daughter’s locker room. That’s when sane people realized that government is the LAST place these out-of-control control freaks needed to be.
The temptation for government to overreach is hardly new. In fact, it stretches back to the beginning of recorded history, and I bet even earlier than that. There’s a story in the ninth chapter of the book of Judges in the Old Testament about Gideon’s son Abimelech, who craved leadership and stature - not to serve the people but to control them and make them serve him. He said, “Give me dominion over your lives, and I will simplify your existence.” Wow, does that sound familiar? It’s basically the entire Democratic platform. Our government has taken us pretty far down that same road, but does your life seem any simpler -- or just a lot less free?
Anyway, back to Abimelech. He had a very smart younger brother, Jotham, who came up with a clever tale about three trees: an olive tree, a fig tree, and a vine tree. All three were fine trees that produced lots of fruit. All were offered the exalted position of “King Of All Trees,” but all three turned it down. The plant that wanted to be “King Of All Trees” was the bramble bush, a weak plant that produces no fruit at all. Jotham’s point was that only the weak and nonproductive have the desire to rule everyone else. Does that lesson not resonate like a gong right now?
When anyone aspires to a position of power, take a long, hard look. If that person seemingly crawled out of the cradle with an ambition to be President, then beware! Anytime someone talks about “running the country,” alarm bells should sound. No one – not the President, not Congress, no one person – “runs the country” or should aspire to.
That’s why the Founders took such pains to divide and limit federal power, and why we need to reinstate those limits that have been trampled in recent years, whether by Presidents ruling via executive order or out-of-control judges legislating from the bench or unelected bureaucrats abusing their power to try to influence the results of elections. If we allow any one person or entity to ignore those limits and assume the power to run everything, we won’t be able to stop them when they run America into the ground.
We should pick leaders who resemble the trees in the Bible story that don’t need or crave power but that have shown they bear good fruit. As it is said, by their fruits ye shall know them. Government has more than enough nuts already.
Four fake narratives that boosted Democrats
This was originally published on 11/21.
Last week, I mentioned how conveeeeeenient it was for the Democrats that only after the elections were over did the Washington Post inform us that the raid on President Trump’s home turned up nothing out of line in the documents in his possession nor any nefarious intent on his part. And I’ve already discussed how they kept the extent of John Fetterman’s mental health problems covered up until after much of the early vote was cast. Now, Matt Margolis at PJ Media offers four more “Oh, by the way…” narratives that boosted the Democrats and only after the ballots were safely cast are we learning the truth. Sounds like "disinformation" influencing "low information voters" to me...
Here’s one more he could’ve added to the list: In calling for amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants because the US population isn’t growing fast enough, Chuck Schumer basically confirmed the “great replacement” accusation that he previously denounced as a racist conspiracy theory.
To quote that great political commentator Johnny Rotten, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
Bill Barr or Peter Strzok: let's play a game of "Who Said It?"
This was originally published on 11/21.
Many observers (not just me) have been scratching their heads and wondering, “What has happened to former Trump attorney general Bill Barr?”
To get into that discussion, we’d like to start with a little game of “Who said it?” Barr did an interview with Margaret Hoover on PBS’s “Firing Line” on Friday, the day Merrick Garland announced his appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate former President and just-announced 2024 candidate Donald Trump. On the same day, disgraced-and-fired former FBI agent and Russia hoaxer Peter Strzok spoke with Nicole Wallace on MSNBC. Here’s a series of quotes from both appearances; tell me which interviewee, Barr or Strzok, said each of them, and then we’ll see how you did...
1. “From the attorney general’s comments, it certainly to me implied that it included Donald Trump’s conduct, but more importantly, as importantly, it included a large number of other people around him.”
2. “I personally think that they probably have the basis for legitimately indicting the President.”
3. “So, he’s had his chance.”
4. “If the Department of Justice can show that these were indeed very sensitive documents, which I think they probably were, and also show that the President consciously was involved in misleading the department, deceiving the government, and playing games after he had received the subpoena for the documents, those are serious charges.”
5. “Given what’s gone on, I think they probably have the evidence that would check the box; they have the case.”
6. “He failed.”
7. “A lot of the criticisms of what special counsel Robert Mueller did, people don’t understand, were key to what he was limited to do by the scope of his appointment order.”
8. “A lot, if not all, of the national security concerns that existed around Trump were not resolved.”
9. “He has a monumental ego, and he doesn’t want to go down in history as a loser.”
(Answers: 1, 7, 8 Strzok; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 Barr. How’d you do? Hard to tell, isn’t it?)
Here’s the full interview with Barr on PBS. (Be sure to take your blood pressure meds before listening to Hoover lead the discussion of the “lie” of election fraud and imply the republic really was in danger on January 6, when “six people died” after Trump “betrayed his oath to the Constitution.”)
What’s puzzling is that in this same interview, Barr acknowledges the existence of the “Deep State,” which he defines as “the increased willingness by more and more civil servants to pursue political objectives rather than stand up for the values of the institution they’re a part of.”
“They are not neutral, politically neutral,” he says. But he thinks the pervasiveness of this is exaggerated, and that most civil servants “try to check their politics at the door.” He appears to blame Trump’s own leadership for what has been done to him, for treating these people as “pariahs” and not “providing clear guidance and goals.” My question to him would be, how do you provide guidance to people who were pulling out all the stops to keep you from getting elected in the first place?
Barr says, “You cannot use the criminal justice system as a political weapon.” Does he not see how this has been done repeatedly –- and is still being done –- to his old boss?
Barr blamed Trump for the January 6 debacle from the start. Here he is on January 7, 2021, saying that Trump “orchestrated a mob.”
So, is Barr correct in saying that the government probably has a case against Trump on the Mar-A-Lago documents? Andrea Wilburg at AMERICAN THINKER says no, and calls him out for “his latest embittered statements.” To him, she says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
She says he’s “totally and completely wrong, because his premise is wrong.” He’s forgetting that the President has the authority to declassify documents. “Whether Bill Barr or Merrick Garland or the head of the White House janitorial services thinks the documents are ‘sensitive’ is utterly irrelevant,” she says. “Political hacks believe that, because bureaucrats stamp the words ‘sensitive,’ ‘confidential’ or ‘top secret’ on pieces of paper, they have spoken as surely as God did when he issued the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Wrong.”
She cites the Supreme Court on this –- Navy v. Egan, 1988 –- and explains that “Presidents can voluntarily respect a national security law, but they do not have to abide by it.” No one else can impose rules on the President regarding this power. The Court refers to it here...
“The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.’ U.S.Const., Art. II, § 2. His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security and to determine whether an individual is sufficiently trustworthy to occupy a position in the Executive Branch that will give that person access to such information flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant. See Cafeteria Workers v. McElroy, 367 U. S. 886, 367 U. S. 890 (1961).”
When it came to national security matters, Trump, like any other President, had PLENARY POWER, which means “a power that has been granted to a body or person in absolute terms, with no review of or limitations upon the exercise of that power.”
So what is Barr thinking? Did his disgust for Trump that came to full fruition on January 6 completely disengage the part of his brain that surely understands about the President’s authority in these matters? It seems to have been walled up somehow, as a grain of sand inside an oyster becomes a pearl. But this is not a pearl of wisdom.
“Because Trump was still the President of the United States,” Wilburg says, “at the very moment when he transferred those documents from the White House to his private residence, they were automatically and instantly declassified. After that, nothing in his possession was either ‘sensitive’ or ‘classified,’ and neither the current nor the past attorney general can change that fact.”
Also, since Barr does acknowledge the existence of the Deep State, I wonder if he’s noticed something deep-statey about the background of this new special counsel. As reported in the DAILY CALLER, “Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate former President Donald Trump’s possession of classified information, was a key figure in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) infamous targeting of conservative non-profits, according to a 2014 report by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.”
He coordinated with Lois Lerner, whose IRS team searched for terms like “tea party” and (yes) “patriot” to find specifically conservative groups to target ahead of the 2012 election. Recall that Lerner resigned after pleading the Fifth Amendment when questioned by the House Oversight Committee.
Smith also prosecuted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, on federal corruption charges in 2014, over accepting gifts from a lobbyist that he later repaid. This apparently prevented McDonnell's presidential run in 2016, even though the Supreme Court unanimously reversed his conviction that year. All charges were later dismissed.
So this is the guy Biden’s attorney general has selected to prosecute President Trump. And Trump’s attorney general appears to be so blinded by his feelings about his former boss that he’s willing to go right along.
Here's a related, MUST-READ commentary from Michael Goodwin in the NEW YORK POST.
DISGUSTING: Garland's appointment of a special counsel is "Mueller 2.0"
This article was originally published on 11/19.
At this point, we’ve been lied to so much by the Biden administration, they might as well just save their breath when telling us President Biden didn’t know about a step as consequential as the appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump for (again) his role in the so-called “insurrection” and his possession of so-called “classified “documents at Mar-A-Lago. As we said just yesterday, even the WASHINGTON POST reports that according to their sources, Trump's possession of those documents was not nefarious, did not include “nuclear secrets,” and really just reflects a difference of opinion regarding who could have them.
In an exclusive interview shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland's announcement, Trump told FOX NEWS Digital that this is “the worst politicization of justice in our country.”
“For six years I have been going through this,” he said, “and I am not going to go through it any more. And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”
“I have been proven innocent for six years on everything,” he said, “from fake impeachments to [special counsel Robert] Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more? It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political.”
Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted a response to this story that has since been made “unavailable” by Twitter (but was saved for our reading pleasure by J. D. Rucker at LIBERTY DAILY): “The corrupt DOJ appoints a special counsel to investigate President Trump the same week he announces a 2024 run. Has there ever been a more politicized and weaponized DOJ in American history.”
Considering this is just about the same thing we said in yesterday’s Evening Edition, I’d hope it would have been restored on Twitter by now. Elon Musk, where are you on this?
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre is always good for a laugh, and she provided a big knee-slapper on Friday when she said, “Look, I will say this, and I’ve said it many times before, we do not politicize the Department of Justice...” LOOK, I will say this, Karine, The DOJ is assigning a special counsel to investigate President Biden’s top political foe and likely opponent in 2024. It’s the task of the special counsel to determine whether or not to charge this opponent criminally. No, no, that’s not politicization in the slightest. (Of course, this sham is why they have to maintain, ludicrously, that Biden knew nothing about it, just as he knew nothing about the Mar-A-Lago raid, haha.)
Garland, in a startling twist of logic, actually cited Trump’s announcement to run and Biden’s “stated intention” to run as reasons FOR appointing a special counsel. He concluded that it was “in the public interest.” (Just a thought: perhaps this is why Biden still insists he's planning to run.)
So, did Garland think it was in the public interest to raid Trump’s home, Third World-style, over what is essentially a document dispute? Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley would tell him it wasn’t, and said in August that Garland “must resign or be impeached.” Hawley said, “The raid by Joe Biden’s FBI on the home of a former President who is also Biden’s chief political opponent is an unprecedented assault on democratic norms and the rule of law, Biden has taken our republic into dangerous waters.” Hawley also called at that time for the search warrant to be published, the firing of FBI Director Chris Wray, and the total overhaul of the FBI.
We promised more information about newly-appointed special counsel Jack Smith --- aside from his working in the Public Integrity Unit of the DOJ for five years under (yes) President Obama. As reported in THE EPOCH TIMES, his most recent assignment was at The Hague, where he was chief prosecutor for the special court responsible for investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo. Before that, he was vice president of litigation for HCA Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S.
He’s a 1994 graduate of Harvard Law and reportedly a Democrat. A more detailed career bio is at the ET story. As I see it, Smith will have to earn the designation of “nonpartisan,” as our ‘Justice’ Department has already earned the title of Most Partisan DOJ in History.
Legal professor Jonathan Turley appeared on Jesse Watters’ FOX NEWS show Friday evening and made an interesting point, that “Attorney General Garland, in making a case for a special counsel, made the case against himself for the failure to appoint a special counsel on Hunter Biden.” Exactly! He went on to explain...
“He said, ‘Look, we’ve got someone running for President; we really can’t investigate this as a member of the current President’s administration.’ Well, you also have an investigation of the current President’s family, an investigation where the President could be implicated, in a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme, an investigation that has references to President Biden, using code names, like ‘the Big Guy’...to hide the fact that they were talking about Joe Biden. And he has steadfastly refused to appoint a special counsel, and it’s simply baffling.”
Gosh, it’s not baffling at all if you assume the totally partisan nature of the Biden DOJ. Garland used completely different standards for the two cases.
Speaking of the Hunter laptop story, the U.K. DAILY MAIL has a good update. Leave it to the British press (and the NEW YORK POST, of course) to cover this when most of the American press cops out. If anyone you know says, “That Hunter Biden story the Republicans talk about is no big deal,” send them this...
As for Garland’s focus on January 6, Turley said, “I don’t get it. The January 6 committee did not significantly move the ball on establishing a crime by President Trump.” He found the Mar-A-Lago aspect more concerning for President Trump, because “the attorney general mentioned obstruction a couple of times.” The FBI, he said, “often starts with low-lying fruit.” The obstruction claims involve “other people, lawyers, staff, etc.,” and Turley thinks the special counsel will start with them, just as the Mueller team did.
There’s a two-syllable word for what this is, and I’ll refrain from using it, as I know we’re all thinking it, anyway.
Prof. Glenn Reynolds would agree. He’s got a great piece in the NEW YORK POST, saying that Merrick Garland has not only proven himself unfit for his current job as attorney general but also for the job he really wanted, that of Supreme Court justice. As bad as the ‘Justice’ Department is under his tenure, he at least HAS a tenure and will be replaced. If he’d been on the Court, this political hack might have served for life.
Areas of concern cited by Reynolds include Garland’s targeting of parents speaking out at school board meetings in response to the National School Boards Association (which had reportedly already spoken to the White House), calling this “political thuggery at its worst.”
Garland has adopted the current definition of “domestic terrorism,” which simply means “opposition to our policies.” Reynolds’ conclusion about AG Garland: “He should go.”
Finally, here’s a must-read piece that looks at the lawfare behind this special counsel appointment as expressed in the legal filings. Note that regarding January 6, the special counsel won’t just be looking at Trump but also at GOP members of Congress and anyone associated with Trump.
Also, do you recall my speculation that the deputy AG, former Obama attorney Lisa Monaco, is likely responsible for what the AG’s office is doing? As Sundance writes, “DAG Lisa Monaco has written, and AG Garland has appointed Jack Smith to target Donald Trump with the same special counsel process previously used by Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann.” In other words, Turley was right to bring up pursuit of obstruction of justice charges, because that was Weissmann's strategy.
“This is Robert Mueller 2.0,” Sundance writes, “using Special Counsel Jack Smith.” All the same investigators will transfer over. In other words, it’s just as Trump said yesterday, that the same sleazy people are involved again. And according to Sundance, they’re “structurally targeting” Republicans. By appointing a special counsel, they can go after the new Republican Congress without having that pesky separation of powers issue. “Primary goal: create enough of a legal mess as to obstruct any Republican legislative effort against the Biden White House.” Bonus: if they can “pick off any Republican House members under charges of ‘supporting an insurrection,’” the Democrats regain control of Congress.
There’s much more at the link. This is an ABSOLUTE MUST-READ if you want to comprehend what Biden’s underhanded ‘Justice’ Department is up to. It’s easy to see why they chose to do this immediately upon the GOP taking control of the House.
ADDITIONAL NOTE on appointment of this special counsel
by Laura Ainsworth, staff writer/researcher
Bob Hoge at REDSTATE had an interesting take on Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to continue investigating President Trump. He thinks it might backfire, and says, “Voters, especially Trump’s base, could find renewed energy as they witness yet another overzealous prosecution of Orange Man Bad, and after watching so many failed efforts, they could (correctly) conclude that the Justice Department is simply an untrustworthy, politicized, partisan Democrat operation.”
But now that Merrick Garland has done this, the Trump flag is going back up.
That’s not even to say Trump will be my final choice for the nomination in 2024, though he might very well turn out to be. It’s just that I want to show solidarity with Trump after what has been done to him by an administration that currently bears little resemblance to the America I used to know and pledge my allegiance to. In other words, I’ve concluded that the ‘Justice’ Department is simply an untrustworthy, politicized, partisan Democrat operation. Heck, I already knew that, but now they’ve given me a clearer idea of just how far they’re willing to take it.
At least one race I got right
This article was originally published on 11/14.
My daughter Sarah won in a landslide to become the first ever woman to be Governor of Arkansas and mark the first time ever when a father/daughter both served a state as governor. I’m so very proud of her, and believe that she will satisfy her supporters and surprise those who didn’t vote for her. I thought I was a pretty effective Governor. But I hope she is even better!
But, when I’m wrong, I try to admit it. I WAS wrong about my view that there would be a huge red tsunami in the 2022 elections. It was evident to me that since 70% of the American people thought we are on the wrong track, since most American families have been devastated by the highest inflation rate in 42 years, gasoline costs almost double from when Joe Biden took office, and with the cost of groceries skyrocketing, voters would say “Enough of this!” I also thought that the dramatic increase in violent crimes, illegal border crossings at over 5 million since Biden took office, and the deep decline of the value of people pension funds due to the downward spiral of the stock market, voters would figure it’s time for new and hopefully better ideas. And with the Democrats pushing for wacko science that results in mutilation and chemical castration of children in the name of transgender “care” and pushing abortion of an unborn baby up until the very moment of birth, I truly believed that even long-time Democrats who aren’t crazy would decide that their party had embraced too many policies that were detrimental to their lives and families and would vote accordingly.
Clearly, I was wrong. While Republicans will likely barely control the House, what was expected as a red wave became more of a pink trickle at best.
I’ve realized that most Americans get their news from social media and the mainstream media. They are like a monolithic wall protecting Democrats and the most radical cultural views of our nation. Many voters don’t watch or listen to conservative voices, and they are overwhelmed with the fake news that Republicans are a “threat to democracy.” These are voters who are not aware or don’t care that the bureaucrats of the establishment of government—especially those at the top in the FBI and the Department of Justice are weaponizing their power to intimidate and aggressively and forcefully arrest 87 year old concentration camp survivors who are pro-life but do nothing to punish those who firebomb and vandalize Crisis Pregnancy Centers which provide real medical services and baby supplies to women and their children.
The problem with the less than stellar results of the midterm elections is not that the Democrats opposed our policies. That’s what we can expect them to do. But Republicans were facing a triple threat of the monolithic media, the bully bureaucracy of our own government, and the reliable partnership they had with the national Democrat party. They preached that parents speaking out about the abuse of their children were domestic terrorists, and that parents who raised their children to believe in 2 genders of male or female were racist, fascist, homophone, transphobe or bigots. And for some reason, they convinced voters that people who riot and burn their Democrat run cities are mostly peaceful protestors and we should de-fund the police because they are evil and that there is no real crime threat.
But this is not a time to give up. It’s a time to fire up. No room for a retreat—it’s time for renewal. I would never suggest that we stop voting—I would urge that don’t stop caring and fighting against the evil policies that are destroying America and the hopes we have for our kids and grandkids. Give up? No way! Gear up! Speak up! Sign up, and get up and join the fight for the soul of America.
I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.