The official start of Hurricane Season seems like an appropriate time to take a hard look at “Crossfire Hurricane” –- the FBI’s investigation into alleged “collusion” with Russia that led to the unchecked travesty that is the Mueller probe –- and to just come out and call it what it is.
That's even if we have to put a few quarters in the swear jar. This may be one of those times when it’s impossible to avoid using a few bad words to describe a very bad thing. God forgives.
For it’s now perfectly clear, even before we see that long-awaited IG report, that “Crossfire Hurricane” was the weaponization of the intelligence community to ensure the expected victory of the presidential candidate who’d been anointed as the successor to the outgoing President. The FBI did this by sabotaging the campaign of her challenger, with input from the head of the CIA. They used unverified garbage from a British ex-spy that was paid for by his opponent, hid that fact from the FISA judges who approved their applications for warrants to surveil associates of his campaign, and used at least one SPY (yes, that is the word) to pick around the edges of the campaign and get the “Russia” investigation off the ground even before they’d opened an official counterintelligence case.
They chose not to inform the candidate of their so-called concerns. They also chose not to similarly infiltrate the candidacy of the Anointed One, even though she and her husband had received a great deal of money from Russians and appeared to have been running a pay-for-play scheme at the State Department (hard to prove, though, because of all the evidence she’s destroyed).
When her opponent won anyway, the FBI investigation into his campaign became an all-powerful special counsel probe, designed to “persist” until some evidence of a crime –- any crime –- could be found. The new President’s associates were indicted on years-old allegations that had nothing at all to do with Russian collusion, in the hope, as one presiding judge pointed out, that one of them might “sing,” or even “compose” to get a deal. Complicating all this is that the attorney general is mysteriously missing in action and his deputy has too many conflicts of interest to be overseeing it.
The plan also included strategic leaking to friends in the media (some of the leakers are now working as contributors for those very news outlets) while stonewalling the Senators and members of Congress whom the Constitution directs to oversee their actions. They denied the committees’ requests for interviews. They ignored subpoenas for key documents. They redacted mightily, to hide their own actions. They threatened the President with charges of obstruction of justice if he ordered them to comply or moved to declassify documents they were hiding.
And this is where we are now, with an investigation that no one can stop and threats of impeachment when there has been no crime.
To make a point, I’ve deliberately described what “Crossfire Hurricane” was –- and what it became –- without including people’s names, particularly the name of the target of all this: President Donald J. Trump. That’s because for many people, something about the name “Trump” excuses anything directed at him, no matter how dishonest, unconstitutional or downright crazy. It excuses fake “dossiers,” fraudulent FISA applications, criminal leaks of classified material, “confidential informants” (spies), and even bloody severed heads. If I were to describe all of the above as happening to TRUMP, “anti-Trumpers” would just read along, nod their heads and say, “Yeah, get him!” Take Trump’s name out of this scenario, though, and anyone, even the most rabid anti-Trumper, should be able to see just how horrific and obviously dangerous to America it is.
As Kim Strassel points out in her most recent column in the Wall Street Journal, the actions of the Justice Department are the real constitutional crisis here, not those of Trump in ordering the Justice Department to do what it’s supposed to do; namely, comply with investigative committees and pony up the documents in question. Also, the President should use his authority to declassify everything to the fullest extent possible. That move would not be taken to undermine the investigation but to get to the truth, which is what an investigation is supposed to reveal.
Another week, another load of anti-Trump fake news. The good news: it’s a holiday week, so we only get four days of it!
For instance, there was the media frenzy over a claim that HHS has lost track of about 1475 children who arrived at the border as unaccompanied aliens. Naturally, this must mean that Trump is so cruel and hates “immigrants” so much, he must’ve torn these children away from the parents and abandoned them in the Mojave Desert or something.
In fact, the explanation is much less overwrought: most of these children, having been sent across the border alone by their families, were placed with close family members or parents who claimed them here in the US. Many of those family members were also undocumented immigrants who don’t want further contact with the government, so they disppeared and don’t respond to attempts to contact them.
Of course, HHS could track them down and take the kids back, or simply refuse to allow unaccompanied minors to cross the border in the first place – but if they did that, the same Trump critics would say that’s also proof that he’s cruel and hates immigrants. That’s the great thing about Trump Derangement Syndrome: since whatever he does is always wrong, it doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Thinking is hard for some people.
And here’s another media frenzy by some people for whom thinking is harder than petrified woodpecker lips (thanks to Defense Secretary James Mattis for that wonderfully colorful phrase, which I plan to use often from now on.)
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King tweeted a photo he’d found of two unaccompanied alien children sleeping in an ICE border detention facility behind a chain link gate that resembled a dog pound. He was outraged and railed that it was an “abomination.” It was quickly picked up and retweeted by other prominent liberals, many of whom added their own condemnations of the evil Donald Trump for treating these children like dogs.
One problem: that photo turned out to be taken in 2014. Now, let’s see…who was President in 2014? Was it Trump? No, I believe it was Barack Obama.
King and his Twitter echo chamber were correct: that was a disturbing photo. And I don’t hold it against King so much for making the mistake, since he’s not a professional media figure who is expected to do basic fact-checking before going off on a rant. Unlike some of the people who retweeted it, one of whom was actually Obama’s speechwriter. Come to think of it, I guess he hasn’t had much experience at checking facts before he writes things, either.
But Monday was a red letter day for the media, since Trump finally got flak for something he actually did. And you could make the case that he deserved some criticism, since he sent out a Memorial Day tweet that boasted about how well America is doing now. He was blasted for the tweet being more about his accomplishments than the military’s, and that’s a fair criticism. That’s one of those occasions when I wish the President would've spent a few more seconds considering how his tweet would be perceived before hitting the “Send” button.
On the other hand, it’s not as if Trump’s critics had any other fodder they could use to claim that he doesn’t respect the military. As this story about the tweet also notes, he spent Memorial Day attending a wreath-laying ceremony and addressing thousands at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
Trump also released a video in which he talked about the meaning of Memorial Day…
This followed his rousing patriotic commencement speech Friday at the US Naval Academy. He also stayed after the speech for about 90 minutes in the heat, to shake the hand of every one of the 1100 or so graduates (click the link to see video of the speech and the 1100 handshakes condensed to 41 seconds). It probably would have been more comfortable for him if he’d had a Marine standing next to him, holding an umbrella over his head. Thankfully, he did not. Let's hope that will be another Presidential precedent he will take delight in breaking.
I told you about Huck’s Hero Jason Seaman, the teacher and coach who rushed a school shooter in Noblesville, Indiana, last week and took him down, even though Seaman was shot three times while subduing him. He’s already out of the hospital, and he told reporters exactly what happened. It’s a harrowing story that reminds us that heroes aren’t superhuman figures with no fear. They’re often humble people who find themselves in a bad situation where something has to be done, and they’re the ones who step up to do it. Or as Mr. Seaman put it, what he did “were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances.” Those actions probably saved countless lives.
Click the link to hear the amazing story in his own words, and for links to GoFundMe accounts to help pay the medical bills of Seaman and 13-year-old Ella Whistler, the other victim of the shooter who is still in the hospital in stable but critical condition.
It’s that time of year when colleges are holding their graduation ceremonies and commencement speakers are doling out pearls of wisdom to try to send them out on the path of life on the right foot.
Or maybe I should say the left foot: a new study by the Young America’s Foundation revealed that this year, liberal commencement speakers outnumbered conservative speakers by 12 to 1. At the top 100 colleges nationwide, there were a total of three – count ‘em, three – conservative speakers. But that’s understandable: after four years of college, you’d hate for the graduates to hear a conservative thought and get so triggered they’d have to run to their safe spaces and hide before they got their diplomas.
That’s why if you read just one commencement speech this year, then don’t let it be the cookie-cooker liberal boilerplate ladled out like Pablum at most universities. Instead, check out this speech, given to the graduates of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs by a genuine grown-up who knows what it means to lead others and to choose the hard path over the easy path but still accomplish great things. The speaker was Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
His speech not only should be heard by all members of the US military, it should – perhaps especially – be heard by civilians who don’t fully appreciate what the military does and the sacrifices its members make to safeguard the freedoms of all of us back home. Bonus points: the speech also contains more real, important American history than most liberal arts college grads heard in all four years. Plus, it’s a better lesson in creative writing than they likely got from their English Lit professors (could they have come up with a turn of phrase like saying America needs its military people to be “harder than petrified woodpecker lips”?)
Remember last week’s firestorm on the left about how our moronic President had blown a historic chance for peace with North Korea by refusing to tolerate Kim Jong-Un’s belligerent antics and calling the summit meeting off? Well, in an extremely rare move, Kim is now sending his longtime spy chief and right hand man, Kim Yong Chol, to the United States to salvage the talks and try to beg...sorry, "persuade"...Trump to come back to the negotiating table.
Maybe it would be a good idea for the children to keep quiet until the adults are through conducting business.
Hope and change! For real!
CNN is being accused of damaging the reputation of a showbiz celebrity who’s also associated with the Presidency by airing fake news accusing him of sexual misconduct. And that person is…Morgan Freeman! I guess once you get into the fake news habit, it’s hard to shake.
Here are more details of the TV interview in which Freeman was accused of sexually harassing the female interviewer, but a more objective viewing suggests he was actually just commenting on his movie co-star Michael Caine’s story.
In stunning news, an extremely ill-advised tweet sent out by Roseanne on Tuesday has resulted in the immediate cancelation of her newly-revived show on ABC. As much as we might disagree politically with former (and, come to think of it, current) Obama consigliere Valerie Jarrett, and as deliriously happy as we might be that she isn’t anywhere near the White House these days, I’m sure we can also agree that Roseanne’s description of her as a genetic combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and an “ape” is indefensible. Though Roseanne apologized quickly, it was inevitable that her show, as well-executed and timely and popular and lucrative (and FUNNY) as it is, would be canceled, considering the racist connotations of a remark like that).
Reaction was immediate. FOX News media analyst Howard Kurtz described this as “a spectacular self-immolation by Roseanne Barr after an equally spectacular comeback.” Cast member Wanda Sykes announced that she would not be coming back to the show. Sara Gilbert, who plays –- played –- one of her three adult kids, tweeted that the comment was “abhorrent” and not reflective of “the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.” Her talent agency, ICM Partners, has announced that it will no longer represent her. Roseanne was already known for being controversial and edgy, but this was obviously over the edge.
Predictably, anti-Trump media outlets are already trying to tie the President and all his supporters to this comment (and his compulsive Twitterstorms don’t help). Joe Scarborough of MSNBC implied as much when he tweeted, “Even in the Age of Trump, there are red lines that can never be crossed. This is one.” Get ready for an escalation of “Trump-is-a-racist” commentary –- which is also indefensible, though the media will get away with it as usual. Roseanne’s stupid remark just made it easier for the media to perpetuate their lie.
I’m not defending Roseanne’s aforesaid stupid remark in any way, but it’s hard to talk about this without mentioning the double standard for those on the left and right. To cite just one example, Kathy Griffin was condemned for tweeting a horrific picture of herself holding the bloody severed “head” of President Trump, and her career appeared to be over for a time, but now she’s back on tour for her many fans, who eat up that sort of thing and love her for being so viciously anti-Trump. Over the years, I've seen numerous left-of-center tweets that were racist and sexist (and, of course anti-Christian), but as they were aimed at conservatives, they got little if any attention. So, will Roseanne ever live this down? Not likely; odds are almost overwhelming that with this she has blown her career to dust.
There’s something about Twitter that INFECTS a lot of people, perhaps millions of us, like an insidious virus that destroys the pathways between the brain and the fingers. He who lives by the Tweet can die by the Tweet. The one way to fight the infection is to take “the pause that refreshes” and think before tweeting. The goal is not to avoid offending all people --- this will not in your wildest dreams be possible, or even necessarily desirable --- but to make sure you’ve chosen yours words carefully to communicate exactly want you intend to say while anticipating and accepting any potential consequences. Anyone who can’t do that should do what Roseanne says she has now done (too late): Leave Twitter.