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CELEBRATING FLAG DAY

Sunday, June 14th, was Flag Day, which commemorates the date in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the US flag, with 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a blue background. But if you missed Flag Day, don’t worry: it’s the first day of National Flag Week, so you can feel free to fly your flag all week. In fact, feel free to fly it every day of the year, and don’t let anyone tell you that doing so makes you a racist, fascist, xenophobe or any other word that certain college graduates who can’t even spell those words like to call people.

Mostly, feel free to fly the American flag because it is the symbol of everything that makes you feel free. Although, sadly, these days, simply flying the American flag may be seen as a brave act that will require vigilance.

But then, keeping the American flag flying has always required vigilance against America’s enemies, which is why it’s so appropriate that Flag Day and the birthday of the US Army fall on the same date. June 14th, 1775, was the date when the Continental Congress officially adopted “the American Continental Army.”

And by coincidence (or maybe not), it was also President Donald Trump’s 74th birthday. Trump issued his Flag Day Proclamation, which this year honored the flag, the military and also health care workers for their sacrifices in fighting the coronavirus. Trump said that the flag represents the unity of our country and its people, and the sacrifices made by patriots from generation to generation to preserve our freedoms, and that “today, and every day, I am proud to join my fellow Americans in standing tall and saluting our great American flag.”

Did you ever think a day would come when it would be considered by some to be “controversial” to talk about American unity, honoring previous generations who fought for America, and standing and saluting the flag?

NEW ATLANTA PROTESTS

A new round of violent protests broke out in Atlanta over the weekend, following the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was asleep in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot when police were called to investigate. Body cam video shows that the questioning of Brooks was polite and professional. But after he failed a breathalyzer test (his BAC was nearly .11%, and he didn’t even know what county he was in), they attempted to cuff him and he suddenly began fighting them.

Police say that Brooks grabbed a stun gun from one of the officers and ran, and while chasing him, he turned and pointed something at them, and they fired and killed him. He had reportedly been pointing the stun gun, but the officers say they couldn’t tell that in the dark. In such a situation, police have a split second to decide whether to fire or risk death by hesitating. (Warning: the police video at this link is very disturbing and contains foul language.)

The police chief has already resigned, and an investigation is underway, but that didn’t prevent both peaceful protests and violent rioting. Someone even burned down the Wendy’s, which had nothing to do with it. There’s a $10,000 reward for the arson suspect, who is reportedly a white female, most likely part of the radical left agitators who claim to be seeking justice for black people. Except now the black neighborhood has lost both a business and eating place, and the employees have lost their jobs.

It’s terrible that such a thing happened, and at such a sensitive time. Our prayers for Mr. Brooks and his family (he mentioned having young daughters in the police video, which is heartbreaking) and for justice to prevail. But this is what I warned about recently when I said that the rush to indict the cops in Minnesota due to mob violence was a worrisome trend since a similar situation was bound to arise, but not so clear-cut. Now the mob will demand instant retribution. But a careful, thorough investigation doesn’t just protect the cops’ due process rights. It also protects the integrity of the system and prevents acquittal by sloppy prosecutorial work.

Burning down a Wendy’s is bad enough. Let’s not burn down the entire justice system while we’re at it.

MONOLOGUE FROM SATURDAY'S "HUCKABEE" ON TBN 

(I think this is a very important message, so I want to share it with you in every way that I can, and I hope you will share it, too.)

Maybe the only news you’ve heard this week is bad news about armed Antifa terrorists taking over six blocks of Seattle with the local government standing around with their hands in their pockets. Or the disgusting video of some classless hooligans re-enacting the death of George Floyd by having a guy standing on the neck of another as the funeral procession passed by. Or the sheer stupid stuff such as HBO not airing “Gone With the Wind” anymore because it depicted a dark time in our history when the scourge of slavery still existed. Or taking the children’s TV show “Paw Patrol” off because one of the dogs was a police dog.

But getting less attention is the powerful story of a young white man in of all places, Selma, Alabama, who was randomly targeted as he was out for a run and was shot by a black man who had announced earlier that he was going out to kill some white people. As the young white man was taken into the Emergency Room, he told the medical staff that he hoped that his being shot would not lead to more violence or hate and that he was praying for the person who shot him to find forgiveness and God’s grace. That young man, who I talked to on the phone Wednesday night as he recovered in a Birmingham hospital awaiting another surgery to heal his wounds, showed that the battle in America right now is not political, economic, or racial. It’s spiritual.

There’s even more to the story to reveal that God was working in the midst of an evil, Satanic attack. Two men who happened to be nearby in a pickup truck witnessed the shooting and hurried to assist the victim. One had been given a tourniquet three days before, from a friend who told him he ought to keep it in his truck in case he ever needed it. At the time, he just thought it a strange gift. Three days later, his having it saved a man’s life - a man who would be more concerned about the soul of the one who tried to murder him than for his own life.

Selma didn’t erupt in violence or riots as it had in the 60’s. It erupted in prayer and forgiveness. It was not led by a politician or an activist, but by a man in his 20’s who ironically is adopting a non-white child.

It reminds me of what happened in Charleston, South Carolina, when a crazed white man went to the historic Emmanuel AME church on prayer meeting night and, after being asked to be part of the gathering, took out a gun and murdered nine black people in cold blood as they were in the act of praying for him. Yet riots, mobs or mass violent demonstrations didn’t materialize in Charleston because the people of the church and even the families of those slain said they didn’t want violence but forgiveness and reconciliation. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who lives in Charleston, was on our show to discuss how God intervened to help heal the community. And a daughter of one of the black murder victims was also on our show and described how she came to forgive the evil white man who shot and killed her father. I sat in awe of her as she spoke of God’s grace in her life.

Neither of those stories from Charleston or Selma led to hate-filled mobs burning businesses, looting stores or increased violence. They led to Godly people leading their communities to ask God to intervene with grace and forgiveness. The solution wasn’t a racial re-alignment or “social justice” or economic intervention or political change. It was divine intervention in which healing came from hurt.

I’ve not shared the young man’s name from Selma out of respect for his family and his privacy, but I have his permission to tell his story and to urge people to not be angry or bitter, but to love, forgive, and exemplify the love of Christ.

So if America survives these difficult days, it likely won’t be because of the familiar faces of famous people who lead, but rather because loving, Godly people whose names and faces are not familiar to most of us led us by example. And we should all surrender to being THAT kind of Christian.

TODAY'S MUST-READ

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the results of giving in to the rabid, Twitter-bred “social justice warrior” cancel culture. They have people so terrified of being branded as racist and cast out of society that it’s emboldened them to the fever pitch of medieval witch burners. Sometimes, it seems as if they’re just closing their eyes, throwing a dart, and whatever it hits gets mauled. They’ve attacked everything from statues of prominent abolitionists to the 33-year-old TV show “Cops” and the British sitcom “Fawlty Towers” to “Gone With The Wind” to Hawaiian shirts (yes, Hawaiian shirts.) And as I wrote last week, one of the top SJWs recently targeted Cracker Barrel restaurants, saying that something about the name just “feels racist.”

Well, here’s a story that happened in a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I’m sure that the SJWs won’t like it because it upends every divisive narrative that they’re trying to promote.

I suppose I should point out that this moving story of racial harmony and mutual respect between the police and the citizens did not take place in a big city run for decades by “progressive” Democrats. It took place in Moody, Alabama, so that makes it a lot less surprising to me.

If you’d like to see the fundraising page for the family of the slain police officer whose sacrifice prompted the act of generosity by the black citizen (and maybe to donate), it’s right here:

I have to warn you, though, before you read his obituary, to watch out for shattered pieces of liberal media narratives about evil cops.

In the months leading up to the 2020 elections, stories about COVID-19 and escalating civil unrest from the far left –- with race as the catalyst –- will continue to dominate the news. To be sure, the way we address these issues will determine the direction America takes in the next generation and beyond. But as important as these stories are, there is one more big reason for the intensity of the coverage: by focusing exclusively on these issues, the media will not have to give any coverage at all to what would otherwise be the story of the decade: the ongoing declassification of documents that shows we were right all along about the “soft coup” against President Trump in 2016 and afterwards.

Yes, it really did happen. And it is treachery.

At any other time –- especially if it had been the Republicans pulling this against, say, candidate and later President Obama –- the screaming would be heard in a galaxy far, far away, and many people would rightly be arrested and charged and end up under the prison. It took then-acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell and the newly appointed DNI John Ratcliffe to finally get the evidence out after years of stonewalling and CYA by the intel community. The latest revelation concerns the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that concluded the Russians had helped Trump win.

Remember how Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) pushed the line that “the 17 intel agencies” in our federal government concluded that the Russians had interfered in the 2016 election, specifically to damage Hillary and to help Trump win? (How releasing “Russian disinformation” about Trump cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow was supposed to HELP Trump is never addressed. Seems as though that would help Hillary, but hey, nobody said this had to make sense.) This line has been trumpeted since the ICA was first released, in redacted form, in January of 2017 –- as it happens, right before Trump’s inauguration.

We’ve learned through investigative reporters such as John Solomon, with their spot-on sources, that then-FBI Director James Comey, then-deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and then-CIA Director John Brennan –- perhaps the biggest proponent of the Steele “dossier” –- were insistent that this work of fiction be included in the ICA and that a summary of it was included as “Annex A.” You and I haven’t been able to see much of “Annex A” until now, but new DIR Ratcliffe has just declassified it. As reported on RedState.com, we can see now that this document “goes along with what we already know about the underlying information for the Russia Hoax investigation being a fraud from the start.”

As Catherine Herridge reports, the allegations that Brennan and his cohorts were making about Trump’s campaign associates knowingly working with Russian officials and even offering financial compensation had not been substantiated and therefore were not used in the body of the report, only in the “annex.” (I would add that today, the only person known to have paid Russians for campaign assistance is Hillary.) Later, when Robert Mueller investigated, he couldn’t substantiate them, either, but that didn’t stop the FBI from using them three more times to renew the warrant to spy on Carter Page.

What I find most interesting about “Annex A” is not so much what’s in it as what is NOT in it. It does not bother to name Christopher Steele. Neither does it identify Fusion GPS as the company that hired him or the Clinton campaign and DNC (same thing) as the clients who were funding him, even though the FBI knew. It merely says “the source collected this information on behalf of private clients.” This is consistent with the wording of that convoluted footnote in the FISA warrant that obscured who the “dossier” clients were.

The date on it –- January 6, 2017 –- is also revealing. This is two days after FBI investigators had recommended that the case against Michael Flynn, one of those purportedly suspected of “colluding” with Russians, be closed for lack of evidence, adding that IT COULD BE RE-OPENED IF EVIDENCE WAS FOUND. (Get the significance?) Interestingly, it’s also one day after the big Oval Office meeting with Obama, Biden, Comey, Brennan and the rest.

With our current knowledge of the FBI’s awareness that the Steele “dossier” was created for Hillary’s campaign, we can see that “Annex A” was their way to maintain that lie as the real deal. It was meant to help accomplish what the RedState article calls “a bureaucratic mafia hit on President Trump.” Quoting the article further: “Obviously, the Steele allegations had significant play in developing the FBI’s position on the IC assessment, as they had used it to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page which was a part of the IC assessment, but their first paragraph denies that to be the case. So now that they’ve said they haven’t verified or used it [the “dossier”], they attach all the allegations, which we now know to be utter [expletive], to the assessment and push for this annex to be made public knowing that the Trump administration would never stand the uproar.”

And that’s what they did. The IC assessment is what gave ammunition to CNN, MSNBC, THE NEW YORK TIMES and virtually every other major media outlet except FOX NEWS to scream “Russia, Russia, Russia!” nonstop for the next three years. The timing of the report ensured this would start before Trump was even inaugurated.

Jerry Dunleavy at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER has another excellent piece on this document.

Dunleavy clarifies that part of the annex was declassified in 2018, but the parts having to do with the source’s veracity –- the fact that there was only “limited corroboration” –- are only now being seen. (“Limited corroboration?” How about “no corroboration”?) Running only two pages, it makes out that this Russia “collusion” was serious stuff indeed: “An FBI source using both identified and unidentified sub-sources volunteered highly politically sensitive information from the summer to the fall of 2016 on Russian influence efforts aimed at the U.S. presidential election.” Wow. Basic physics tells us you can’t make something out of nothing, but these people somehow managed to do it with Steele’s report.

Steele is described mysteriously as a “source” who “maintains and collects information from a layered network of identified and unidentified sub-sources.”

Oh, and to lend more credibility to the unnamed Steele, “Annex A” also reports that “the source’s reporting appears to have been acquired by multiple Western press organizations starting in October [2016].” Wow, how could THAT have happened? We know that Steele himself was shopping the “dossier” around and that intel officials were leaking, too. Not to mention some in our own Congress and Senate. Political hacks all.

Read the full story for all the details. One person who increasingly stands out as vindicated is California Rep. Devin Nunes, who put a report together that was at odds with all those who accepted the Intelligence Community Assessment at face value. At the time, his report was shoved under the rug while anti-Trump reporters “trump”-eted the story about the ICA. No doubt they thought that after a few months more of this, they’d be able to take Trump down.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO LEFT-WING NUTJOBS

There’s one thing you can always count on with the left, and that is that when they have a political advantage, they will grab it and run so far with it that they quickly alienate the rest of society, resulting in the pendulum swinging back harder than a wrecking ball. I think we’re already beginning to see signs of that after legitimate protests of the shocking murder of George Floyd (which EVERYONE across the political spectrum condemned) quickly spiraled into lunatic fringe madness: from rioting, looting and assaulting and murdering police officers and demanding that police departments be defunded and dismantled, to “canceling,” shaming and firing anyone who even suggested that not all cops are racist monsters; to panicked corporations showering hundreds of millions of dollars onto far-left organizations, some of which are openly anti-capitalist (so I assume they’ll return the money? No?...)

…and finally degenerating into the ridiculous, like letting communist nutjobs with automatic weapons take over six blocks of Seattle, canceling “Cops” after 32 years on TV (and attacking all other cop shows, even shows as benign as “Paw Patrol”), yanking “Gone With The Wind" from HBO Max, and finally, and possibly the dumbest yet (although I have faith that this can get dumber), the insinuation that Cracker Barrel restaurants are racist and are a throwback to the Jim Crow era.

Not that anyone cares about facts anymore, but: the chain is named after the barrel of crackers that used to be in every general store, which symbolized the place where people would gather to talk and socialize. They existed everywhere, not just in the South (the general store cracker barrel is mentioned in “The Music Man,” which was set in Iowa.)

Finally, and I can’t remind you of this enough, Jim Crow laws were inventions of the Democrats. They started to arise in the 1870s, when Reconstruction ended and Democrats started replacing Republicans in Southern offices. From Wikipedia: “In the 1870s, Democrats gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, after having used insurgent paramilitary groups, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, to disrupt Republican organizing, run Republican officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting. Extensive voter fraud was also used.” No wonder Democrats don’t want your kids to be taught accurate American history!

We all agree that Floyd’s murderers should face justice and that racism cannot be tolerated in any institution, especially policing, where one side has the right to use force against citizens. But hysteria can run rampant only so long before the inevitable backlash arrives, and Americans of all races know crazy when they hear it. They are starting to rouse themselves and say, “Enough is enough,” in a variety of ways. They don’t want free speech limited only to what the most far-left radicals agree with. They don’t want their cities taken over by lawless anarchists. And they know it’s entirely possible to disagree with the political agenda of Black Lives Matter without thinking that black lives don’t matter.

Surveys show that at least 85% of Americans oppose defunding the police (a 2015 Roper poll showed that blacks were twice as likely as whites to want more police in their neighborhoods.) 58 percent support using the military if necessary to stop violent riots and looting (an opinion that the New York Times will not allow into their formerly respectable parrot cage liner.)

An NYPD cop who took a knee at the mob’s demand to try to deescalate the situation now realizes that giving in to the mob only encouraged more violence and lawlessness. He’s written a letter renouncing his “wrong” decision and saying he will be shamed and humiliated about it for the rest of his life. Someone please force the mayor of Seattle to read that letter.

Prof. Walter Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog was targeted for “canceling” by Cornell University for criticizing the BLM organization. But instead of donning sackcloth and ashes, he’s forcing them to back down by challenging them to prove in open debate that his posts were in any way racist or inaccurate.

A rising number of commentators are starting to see the danger to their profession of allowing all speech to be censored by the most hysterical partisans around and are beginning to say “no.” As usual, Kurt Schichter was among the first.

NASCAR driver and team owner Ray Ciccarelli says he’s leaving over NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag. Ciccarelli says he couldn’t care less about the flag himself, but NASCAR shouldn’t be getting political and telling people what flag they’re allowed to wave and “(bleeping) one group to cater to another.”

And as Americans vote with their wallets, not only are gun sales through the roof, but so are DVD sales of “Gone With The Wind.”

As physicist Sir Isaac Newton taught us, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The left didn’t learn its lesson when it went full-on radical/riot in 1968 and helped elect “law and order” candidate Richard Nixon in a landslide. Now, they’re surprised that an equal and opposite reaction to their national fit of public insanity is already starting to form? They should’ve taken Physics instead of all those useless courses that their overly indulgent parents wasted their money on.

FAKE NEWS FRIDAY

Here’s a Journalism 101 tip for CNN’s Chris Cuomo. If you’re going to try to slam President Trump for “systemic racism” under his economy, don’t use statistics from when Obama was President.

CLEANING OUT THE CAPITOL

Nancy Pelosi is demanding that all Confederate statues be removed from the Capitol and all military bases named after Confederate officers be renamed because they glorify white supremacy. The Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee voted to rename the bases as well, but President Trump says absolutely not: those bases have become part of a great American military tradition where soldiers were trained who won two World Wars.

I don’t know what the eventual resolution of this will be, but it seems that if they’re determined to scrub away the names of anyone ever associated with the Southern White supremacist movement from taxpayer-paid structures, they might start with all lthe things named after the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a one-time KKK “Exalted Cyclops.”

I know, you’ll say I’m only saying that to stir up trouble because Robert Byrd was a Democrat. News flash: so were all those Confederate generals.

As a reminder that despite what we’re being told by the media gatekeepers, not all black Americans agree with the racially-divisive identity politics of the far left, here are five books by conservative African-American authors that take a very different approach to solving racial inequality in the US.

Part II: JUDGE GLEESON'S ATROCITY OF AN "AMICUS" BRIEF

Yesterday, I critiqued Judge John Gleeson’s “friend of the court” brief in support of Judge Emmet Sullivan’s bizarre refusal to allow Attorney General Bill Barr to drop the case against Michael Flynn.

Now, I am not a lawyer, but since yesterday, other articles have appeared that agree with what I had to say and go on to explain with much more specificity the ridiculousness contained in Gleeson’s brief. One very fine article by Andrea Widburg, an attorney in addition to being an editor at AMERICAN THINKER, goes into great, lawyerly detail, but I can boil down the basic arguments.

Widburg titles her piece “From the First Page, Judge Gleeson’s Brief Against Flynn Is A Travesty” and then goes on to tell exactly why.

Widburg accuses Judge Gleeson of LYING, in part by using “fake citations,” cases that don’t really stand for the principles asserted. This is typical of dishonest attorneys, she says, as they think they can get away with it because it’s not likely anyone will check. She checked. And, wouldn't you know, he lies right out of the gate: “Every one of his 14 citations in footnote 2 is a lie,” she says. “That’s all you need to know about his brief.”

She goes through all the case citations included by Gleeson as he tries lamely to argue that it was normal behavior for a judge to call in a third-party (him) to attack the defendant (Flynn) at the trial court level in a criminal case. The examples he cites deal with appellate courts, not trial-level courts like his. Inviting an “amicus” brief, she says, is “standard practice” at the appellate level, but this case is still at trial, where Sullivan is currently presiding. Also, he cites rules and cases that apply to civil litigation; this is a criminal trial.

Gleeson has also been dishonest about the evidence in the case. Widburg quotes someone on Twitter who found that Gleeson had said of Papadopoulos that he “divulged that Russia contacted the campaign.” Really? This judge hasn’t been keeping up very well with the exculpatory evidence that has emerged in the “Russia” probe.

If you’d like to know more about Judge Gleeson and how he came to be involved in this bizarre case, Paul Mirengoff has a piece in the PowerLine blog that tells all, and in more layman’s terms than Widburg uses.

To understand Judge Gleeson, Mirengoff says, you have to know that he sees himself as more of an advocate than a judge. He is by no means neutral. If he wants a particular outcome, he will wage a personal campaign to make that happen. The Flynn case isn’t the first time he's done it. This piece on him is a very interesting read.

While the Flynn case continues, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Ron Johnson, and now the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Lindsay Graham, are now both using subpoena power to call a large number of witnesses involved in “Crossfire Hurricane” and find out what those people knew about the sham “evidence” in the case. Former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has already covered himself with shame by not-so-artfully dodging questions about how much he knew about the problems with the Steele “dossier” when he signed the warrant renewal application to keep spying.

Don't expect much media coverage of this as it's going on, as journalists are feasting on public unrest, left-wing craziness and disgusting racial politics that will intensify as we near the election (and likely afterwards). Lindsay Graham, on HANNITY Thursday night, pointed out that the Mueller investigation received round-the-clock coverage for two-and-a-half years. (I would add that this was followed by the media frenzy over the impeachment hearings.) But I'm telling you, have confidence --- just know that the stunning truth is going to come out anyway.

As Graham tells it, there were a couple of FBI agents who were skeptical of the “dossier” and its origins, and they apparently took the initiative to track down Steele’s Russian sub-source. These two agents were the ones who said it came across to them as not real, more like Russian disinformation. There’s a January memo documenting an interview with this sub-source, “basically shredding the reliability of the ‘dossier.’” Surely one or both of these agents went to Comey, McCabe or some other supervisor to advise them the “dossier” was not verified.

"I find it hard to believe that nobody at the top was told by the professionals in the organization, ‘Our case fell apart,” Graham says. “….I don’t believe McCabe and Comey could have possibly not known that the “dossier” had been rejected by the sub-source. I can’t believe the FBI is that poorly run –- that [in] the most important investigation in 30 years of a sitting President, that NOBODY told the top of the FBI, ‘Oh, by the way, our case fell apart.’”

Graham also vows not to let the lower-level agents who interviewed the sub-source take the blame. We shall see; the reluctance expressed by investigators to look at the actions of those at the VERY top is disheartening, to say the least. After all, this is serious criminal misconduct; by August of 2017, right after Rosenstein signed the final FISA renewal application and was writing Mueller's "scope" memo, there was apparently no evidence against anyone named in that memo --- not one bit.

I’ll leave you with a good suggestion for additional reading: Margot Cleveland’s excellent in-depth analysis of Sullivan’s behavior in the Flynn case and Gleeson’s outrageous “friend of the court” brief. As she puts it, “Gleeson more than gave the longtime federal judge exactly what he wanted: a hit job on Donald Trump that the press could parlay into a new faux scandal.” Highly recommended for when you have some time. This looks like a great weekend to turn off the TV.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

We’ve all been waiting for Judge John Gleeson’s amicus brief on the Michael Flynn case, and it finally dropped on Wednesday. Sure enough, this “friend of the court” is no friend of Flynn, or apparently of justice being served in this case.

Recall that Judge Emmet Sullivan personally asked Gleeson to write it; this was just a couple of days after the op-ed Gleeson had co-authored on the subject that happened to appear in the WASHINGTON POST. Entitled “The Flynn case is over when the judge says it’s over,” this commentary told us all we needed to know about where Gleeson was going to stand and why the judge chose him to write the brief.

"The record reeks of improper political influence,” Gleeson stated on May 11, without even bothering to make that case. In fact, as I said weeks ago after reading the piece, he might as well have just made a copy of that and filed it as his amicus brief. That’s pretty much what he did, except the brief is a LOT more of the same.

If you have the time and inclination to read this 80-page pile of nonsense, here’s a pdf of the brief filed by Judge Gleeson.

Gleeson asserts in his brief that the DOJ’s decision to drop the Flynn case is “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power’ and, unbelievably, accuses them of “attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States.” This is such a politicized and wrongheaded piece of bilge, it’s hard to even know where to start.

Byron York, speaking with Martha MacCallum Wednesday evening, pointed out that it’s the “sole responsibility” of the Department of Justice to withdraw charges if it so chooses. It is NOT within the judge’s authority to deny that.

I'll add this: We've seen before that judges who don’t like the President can’t seem to help attributing the worst motives to everything he or his administration does, and this case is one more example. They just make it up and go with that. Where does Judge Gleeson get off with this “special treatment” garbage? President Trump has stood back and let the wheels of so-called justice turn ever-so-slowly while his “favored friend and political ally” was financially and professionally ruined. If that’s “special treatment,” I sure wouldn’t want it. The attorney general has solid motives for wanting to drop this case, ample reason to be troubled by what he has seen in the prosecution –- and persecution –- of General Flynn. Gleeson’s brief does not speculate about these, even though he has no trouble speculating about the President’s motives.

Gleeson makes three arguments: 1) that Sullivan’s court has the authority to deny the AG’s motion to dismiss, 2) that it SHOULD deny the AG’s motion to dismiss, and 3) that in sentencing Flynn, the court should “consider the defendant’s perjury,” a reference to his earlier guilty plea. Unbelievable.

To make this argument, Gleeson must maintain that the predicate for investigating Flynn was sound. As explained well in a piece at TheConservativeTreehouse.com, he has to defend not only the origins of “Spygate” but also everything else that stemmed from that. How does he do that when so much that has presumably been learned about it by U.S. Attorney John Durham is still under wraps?

"When you read the brief,” this article says, “if does make you wonder if Gleeson might be attempting to frame the current Flynn argument from the perspective of justifying the total Spygate operation. This approach would be of benefit to the corrupt DOJ and FBI small group who are viewed to have purposefully weaponized their agencies for political intents.”

To counter this, the DOJ might have to open up about why the predicate for the investigation of Flynn is invalid. After all, that’s what the DOJ is claiming in its decision to drop the case. If the investigation was corrupt, then the questioning of Flynn on January 24, 2017, was “materially and fundamentally flawed.” I would add that this is especially true considering FBI investigators recommended closing the case on January 4.

In suggesting that Flynn perjured himself by reversing his guilty plea, Judge Gleeson conveniently avoids the claim that Flynn's plea was coerced. He’s saying Flynn should be punished for lying about a crime he was coerced to plead guilty to. “Flynn has indeed committed perjury in these proceedings,” Judge Gleeson says, “for which he deserves punishment, and the Court has the authority to initiate a prosecution for that crime.”

Oh, but Judge Gleeson doesn’t say that Judge Sullivan should go THAT far, even though he could. Gleeson magnanimously recommends that Sullivan merely “take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilt.” Perhaps the thinking is that this is a good way to justify prison for Flynn, which goads President Trump into pardoning him. Flynn, once again, is collateral damage in the effort to hurt Trump politically.

An article at RedState makes some strong additional points.

For one thing, it points out that Gleeson’s brief cites media reports --- which “are sourced to anonymous government officials, which we now know were former Obama administration officials who fed the entire false fantasy “Trump-Russian” collusion argument to gullible and willing anti-Trump media for the past nearly four years.”

Also, it notes that the IG report Gleeson used in his brief was necessarily limited, as “there is NO DOUBT that DOJ has more information available to it than the information reported in the IG report that Gleeson relies on.” In other words, Barr knows a lot more about this case than Gleeson does.

Gleeson also relies on that Intelligence Community Assessment from January 2017, which, as the RedState article says, “reached certain ‘conclusions’ that have been determined to not have been factually accurate.” As an example I would add that John Brennan argued strongly in favor of including the fictitious Steele “dossier” in that report and was able to get a summary in.

The RedState article goes into legal precedent as well, noting language from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Judge Gleeson conveniently left out when he cited the case the U.S. v. Hamm: “As the district judge acknowledged, the prosecutor is the first and presumptively the best judge of where the public interest lies. The trial judge cannot simply substitute his judgment for that of the prosecutor.”

And this, from the same ruling: “...[T]his is a case in which the Government...decided that it would best serve the public interest to dismiss the indictments against the appellants. Neither this court on appeal nor the trial court may properly reassess the prosecutor’s evaluation of the public interest.” In other words, it’s Barr’s call.

Perhaps Gleeson’s insane, politically-charged argument won’t matter except to show the world even more of what is going on in Judge Sullivan’s kangaroo court. The case now goes to the D.C. Court of Appeals, and oral arguments are set for this Friday.

Behind Closed Doors

June 11, 2020

With so many political leaders rushing to virtue-signal and genuflect to the most radical mobs in ever-more-embarrassing ways (the Minnesota city council voting to defund the police because wanting burglars kept out of your house is an example of "privilege," or Nancy Pelosi and her wealthy white colleagues all dressing in African garb like a Beverly Hills community theater Kwanzaa pageant), Americans might be forgiven for thinking that the leadership class of one of the major parties has gone stark raving nuts. But I’d like to assure you that, at least in some instances, that’s not true. They aren’t all insane. Some of them are just insanely cynical hypocrites who know that what they’re saying in public is nuts, but they’re just afraid to admit it publicly.

To quote Charlie Rich, “But when they get behind closed doors…” (Warning: Bad language at the link.)

Audio has leaked of a private conference call between Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and all the city’s Alderman in which she and Ald. Raymond Lopez went at each other in a profane exchange over Lightfoot’s dangerously weak response to rioting and looting. Lopez was concerned that the violence and lawlessness would spread from urban into residential areas.

Lopez said, “I’ve got gang bangers with AK-47s walking around right now, just waiting to settle some scores. What are we going to do and what do we tell our residents other than ‘good faith people stand up’? It’s not going to be enough.”

Lightfoot tried to ignore Lopez’s question, then attacked him personally for asking it, but it’s obvious from the results in the streets that he was right, and I assume she knew it. May 31 was later revealed to be the deadliest day in Chicago in 60 years, with 18 people killed in 24 hours (by comparison, in Chicago’s notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, only seven men were murdered.) The 18 black lives that were lost, including dads, college students and a high school girl, mattered a great deal to their loved ones, and they should matter to civic leaders whose #1 priority is to ensure public safety.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre did take place under a Republican Mayor. He was, in fact, the last Republican Mayor of Chicago. He left office in 1931, and the city has been run entirely by Democrats ever since. But Chicago's violence, corruption and racism are, of course, all Trump’s fault.

Speaking of Chicago, did you really think that Jussie Smollett wouldn’t try to use the current war on cops to wiggle out of his six felony charges for lying to authorities and faking a hate crime?

NFL Guilt

June 11, 2020

Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined in the rush to take a knee by declaring that "we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier” when they enraged many fans by kneeling during the National Anthem. He said he would be "reaching out" to players who have "raised their voices," and the NFL will "encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest...Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players, coaches, fans, and staff."

Predictably, that was not good enough for the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is turning his funeral eulogies for George Floyd into political attacks on President Trump, and in Houston, into a demand that the NFL rehire quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This conveniently overlooks the fact that Kaepernick has had multiple opportunities to play and blown them with his own behavior. Last year, he was given an unprecedented private tryout for all 32 NFL teams, on a Saturday when the teams are normally busy preparing for games. But after the scouts showed up, Kaepernick moved it to another venue on 30 minutes’ notice. He also spoke to the XFL and AAF, but demanded a guaranteed paycheck 80 times larger than their normal salaries.

I’d be interested to hear if Goodell is equally apologetic about the league’s oppression of players who wanted to express their deep feelings about other issues, like the ban on the Cowboys wearing stickers honoring five Dallas Police officers who were murdered by a sniper during a protest of the treatment of blacks by police in Louisiana and (again) Minneapolis. Five Dallas cops died and nine others were injured as they heroically tried to protect the lives of the people who came to denounce them. But that doesn’t fit the current media narrative, so I’ll note that the NFL has also banned expressions of support for a number of other causes, including religion, mental health, and fighting domestic violence and breast cancer. That’s because they all violate the league’s ban on using uniforms to convey any unapproved messages on game day:

This stems from the original concept that’s gotten lost in all the fury and finger-pointing: when players are in the stadium, they’re in their workplace, representing their employers. Contrary to claims, Kaepernick never had his First Amendment rights taken away. That only prevents the government from censoring you. He was free to speak out on any subject on his own time, on radio, TV or a soapbox in the park. But he wasn’t allowed to stage divisive political protests that alienated customers while he was at work.

If the NFL is forced to take back Kaepernick, then does that rule apply everywhere now? Say you work at a car dealership, and you have some controversial opinions on social issues that you’re so passionate about, you feel you must force customers to listen to them before they can test drive a car, or make your colleagues sit through them every time they come into work. So now, you no longer have to worry about being sent to HR or fired with cause, you can just keep on doing it? How long do you think that dealership will remain in business?

Allowing these divisive protests in a place where fans traditionally came to escape from politics, put aside differences and root for their teams cratered NFL TV ratings. In the past few seasons, ratings have crept up again, largely because of the divisive politics finally receding. Goodell now wants to bring it all back with a vengeance.

This brings up another question, asked countless times by former NFL fans: How has Roger Goodell kept his job? He normally makes about $40 million a year; although during the pandemic shutdown, he agreed to reduce his salary to zero, and many of us think he’s finally being paid what he’s worth. His admitted wrong decisions (which he’s now been on both sides of) have cost the league billions, driven away fans and seriously harmed its reputation. He even admits he was in charge during years of “oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff." If you did that to your employer’s business, would you still be employed?

Several prominent business leaders, such as the CEO of the Second City comedy troupe, have found themselves so wracked with white guilt that they’ve resigned their own jobs so they can be replaced by a black applicant. In that spirit, Goodell should step down to be replaced by a black former NFL player.

I nominate Burgess Owens.