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Several states are gearing up to start letting businesses gradually reopen, and not a moment too soon. All around the nation, Americans are signaling that they have had enough, and while some political leaders want to continue the lockdown indefinitely, citizens are assessing the relative dangers of the disease compared to losing their businesses, jobs, salaries and homes, and judging the latter as worse than the former.

For instance, in Dallas, Texas, the owner of a hair salon defied the shutdown last week and reopened, while observing strict hygiene standards. She said if she'd waited any longer, she would have to fire her employees and declare bankruptcy. She's been ordered to “cease and desist,” but she’d had enough of ceasing and desisting, and she has plenty of support.

Meanwhile, the Dallas suburb of Colleyville declared that business owners couldn’t wait any longer and some could start reopening in defiance of state and county leaders.

And this is in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has been one of the most lenient, pro-business leaders. In states such as Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been channeling Mad King George and imposing inexplicable, rights-crushing edicts, many people are on the verge of rebellion.

I sympathize with the protesters, but if I may offer one bit of advice: Please remember that while the threat of the virus may turn out to have been wildly overstated, we still don’t know its full effects (stories are circulating of possible links to blood clotting and strokes in younger victims, among other unknowns.) And while far more people than we initially knew were apparently exposed to it and suffered little or no ill effects, for those who are vulnerable, it can be a terrible, even fatal disease (nearly 55,000 deaths in the US so far.)

If you are going to protest to reopen the government, please do so responsibly. Wear face masks, keep up social distancing, and don’t shake hands with strangers (I’ve seen video of protesters violating all these common sense rules.)

Even if you don’t believe the coronavirus is as bad as advertised, why take unnecessary chances? If not for your own safety and that of your family and community, you should follow the health guidelines at protests to prove that you are responsible citizens who can be trusted to go back to work without spreading the disease. Consider this: If you don’t, you’re giving PR ammunition to the people who want to keep America locked down forever.

"Imagine that --- being framed by our own government and by political operatives who don’t like you. And I think that’s what we’re gonna find out.” That was Devin Nunes, speaking with Maria Bartiromo on this week’s SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, on the case of former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

It’s highly doubtful that Nunes, ranking member and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, would be saying something like this unless he already possessed knowledge that it was true. Recall that he was pilloried for his memo debunking the Russia hoax in 2018, though his conclusions were later verified. (It was Adam Schiff’s memo that was discredited.) Just watch --- Nunes will be right about this, too.

If you’ve read Lee Smith’s excellent book, THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, you know that Flynn was indeed targeted by operatives who didn’t like him, as far back as 2014-15. The Obama Department of Justice (“Justice”) didn’t like him because he wanted to lessen the military’s reliance on the CIA bureaucracy, which only slowed them down when minutes counted on the battlefield. He was calling for financial audits of the Pentagon/Defense Department (uh-oh), and he was a vocal opponent of one of President Obama’s most cherished, administration-defining plans: the Iran Deal. They wanted him compromised long before President-elect Trump announced that he would be coming to the White House to work at his side.

By the way, Nunes also told Bartiromo that, judging by information in the IG report that has recently been declassified, the person who needs to be questioned about the bogus “Russian” narrative is Sergei Millian, one of three Russian-Americans who were apparently involved to some extent. He was asked to come before the House Intel Committee, but according to Nunes, “he is hiding somewhere around the globe.” Nunes is still calling for him to come forward, because “either he was, you know, working for Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign and dirtying-up Trump people, or it’s quite possible he may have been framed.” If he’s afraid to come back to America, Nunes says, “we can guarantee his safety.”

If you are as far “into the weeds” as we are on the origin story of the dossier, we’ve found a detailed article that supports Nunes’ theory that Millian was indeed framed as the source for information that really came from Fusion GPS. One of my researchers just stumbled across this website and plans to check out the archives, as the information there looks really solid.

In the Bartiromo interview, Nunes says of this individual, “He is the source,” but then backs away from that just a bit, saying he’s “one of” the major sources for Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS. Millian is identified as “Person 1” in the IG report. Steele told the FBI that "Person 1" was a “boaster” and “egotist” but still used information credited to him in the “dossier.” He said that Millian was the source for his “Russian prostitutes” story and also for the claim that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Millian, on the other hand, does indeed say he was framed by Steele and Fusion GPS and was not a source for the “dossier.” I think it’s likely we’re going to find that the main “dossier” stories came from Glenn Simpson at Fusion GPS and that this Hillary-paid team just put it out with other people’s names on it.

Incredibly, Robert Mueller’s team never interviewed Millian.

As for Flynn, it’s logical to strongly suspect if not conclude from what we know that he was framed. If he was, then it’s also logical to expect the Obama DOJ to have hidden exculpatory evidence that would have put an end to his legal travails. But Christian Datoc at THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION is reporting that President Trump’s FBI Director Christopher Wray also kept that evidence under wraps. We’ve long expressed doubt of Wray’s effectiveness as FBI director; if this is true, it takes his role into a whole new realm. (In an update, FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale has issued a statement to the DAILY CALLER absolutely, positively denying this.) Whether Wray was directly involved or not, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell has long maintained that the FBI and Justice Department were continuing to hide exculpatory evidence, or what’s known as “Brady material.”

But in breaking news, court documents have been filed (finally!) that contain important evidence Powell was seeking, and there might be more to come. This is happening after Attorney General Bill Barr assigned the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri to conduct a review of the Flynn investigation. The review “involved the analysis of reports related to the investigation along with communications and notes by [FBI] personnel associated with the investigation,” according to the cover letter sent to Powell and another attorney.

It had been reported by THE FEDERALIST that FBI general counsel Dana Boente was the one who blocked release of the Brady material, but Datoc’s source says Boente was acting “in coordination with Wray.” (Again, this has been strongly denied by Wray’s office, but it certainly would explain a lot.) This order to put a hold on Brady material should NEVER have been given, by anyone; the Justice Department has previously ruled that the government has no right to withhold exculpatory material. According to DOJ code, “government disclosure of material exculpatory and impeachment evidence [relevant information both helpful and hurtful] is part of the constitutional guarantee to a fair trial.”

This is just one of the reasons Flynn was treated shamefully. He deserves to have his guilty plea thrown out, all charges dropped (or a Presidential pardon), and restitution for the damages this travesty has caused to his reputation, career, financial condition and peace of mind.

More to come soon –- including, I think, some indictments.

Addendum

Finally, here's an excellent lawyerly take from Andrew C. McCarthy, who has said all along that Flynn should never have been prosecuted. He sheds some light on what was going on with Flynn's original attorneys. This is another must-read for anyone who wants to understand what was done to Michael Flynn, which was a criminal abuse of power.

No weekend briefing

April 27, 2020

I would normally start off with a link to President Trump’s daily briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus, but for the first time in weeks, he didn’t hold one over the weekend. He implied that he might end them because of the hostile/idiotic media response, tweeting:

“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately. They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!”

I can’t say I blame him, since I had the same reaction to last week’s off-the-rails hysteria accusing Trump of suggesting that people inject themselves with Lysol (incidentally, where would they get all this Lysol? I can’t even find it in stores.) That and “Labradoodle-gate” were so jaw-droppingly stupid, childish and willfully obtuse that I didn’t even want to waste my time commenting on them, and that's my job. At least take the effort to make up fake news that sounds half-way plausible.

Trump has spent day after day, sometimes for over an hour at a stretch, dispensing information, trying to keep up people’s hopes and dispel their fears, and answering questions from the media. And in return, every syllable out of his mouth has been parsed, twisted, disputed, refuted, mocked and scorned. Reporters have wasted their precious opportunity to ask the President about a matter of monumental importance to every American, instead lobbing gotcha questions and childish accusations. Even after putting up with it every day for weeks, when he finally got fed up and took a weekend off from their incessant barking, CNN ran this accusatory headline: “Trump goes into hiding.”

So what did CNN call it when Obama went for months without a press conference, averaging fewer than two a month through his entire term? I can’t imagine they accused him of “going into hiding.”

I prefer to think of it as Trump setting a good hygiene example for all Americans by washing his hands of this nasty media virus.

Friday, much of the media outdid themselves in their hair-on-fire anti-Trump hysterics, giving us a double dose of Trump Derangement Syndrome idiocy. First, by claiming that President Trump told people to inject Lysol to kill the virus. No, he did not.

They went so bat-poop crazy over that one that some of them were even calling it “Lysolgate.” Here's a great primer in how not to write a headline.

But wait: what about “Labradoodle-gate?” I assume that’s the name they’ll give to the non-scandal arising from Thursday another false claim that Brian Harrison, whom Trump appointed as chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services, is heading up HHS’s coronavirus response and he's just a “labradoodle breeder” from Dallas. No, he’s not handling HHS' virus response. Dog breeding is his family business, but as the Dallas Morning News, hardly a Trump-supporting paper, reports, he’s a serious public servant who’s “served three Administrations in high level posts at HHS, the White House and the Pentagon.”

The media’s idiotic overreactions to everything Trump says and does, and their apparent inability to do even the most basic research before reporting a story, have become so wearying that they’re no longer even worth correcting, scolding or even talking about. Adults are dealing with real problems now. Were it in my power, I would send the entire lot of these hyperactive brats to their rooms without supper until they learned how to behave themselves.

In the meantime, I got to thinking what the history books might be like if we’d had this same type of media with the same level of frenzied partisan hatred and immature stupidity covering previous Presidents…

FDR: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself!”

MSNBC: “FDR now claims that we should actually fear ‘fear’ itself! Is he attempting to gin up fear purely for political advantage? Or has he become so disconnected from reality, he believes that an abstract concept is personally threatening him? We’ll have a panel of psychiatrists who’ve never met him but hate him nonetheless explain why we might have to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office over his latest insane comment.”

Teddy Roosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

CNN: “Roosevelt has just openly endorsed clubbing other world leaders with a big stick! We’ll have a panel of experts explain why this demonstrates that he is a childish, unhinged, crazy, war-like authoritarian who needs to be removed from office immediately.”

Abraham Lincoln: “Four-score and seven years ago…”

Harrisburg Patriot & Union newspaper: “We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation, we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.”

Actually, that last quote was what a reporter actually wrote about Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, now considered one of the greatest speeches in US history. In his time, Lincoln was also called dishonest, an “unshapely man,” a yahoo, a barbarian, a gorilla and an idiot.

At least the Harrisburg newspaper finally retracted its pan of the Gettysburg Address on its 150th anniversary. Wonder how long it will take the media to admit that, in fact, Trump was not an idiot, but quite a few of the people covering him were.

Covid-19 News

April 26, 2020

Here is Friday’s White House press briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus.

It was a short, but very news-packed briefing. The major points: we have now topped 5 million tests, numbers of new infections and deaths are trending downward, states are getting ready to reopen for business, President Trump signed the bill adding new funding to aid small businesses, and the FDA has approved an at-home test for the virus that lets people swab themselves and send it to a lab for testing. Also, Trump didn’t take questions because the media absolutely beclowned themselves after the previous briefing. More on that later. I can’t consider their hysterical antics to be “news” anymore.

Also, in case you missed it, Friday night, I filled in for Sean Hannity hosting his Fox News TV show, to take a look at the coronavirus and how both the disease and the reactions to it are damaging America. You can watch the full episode here:

We talked about the way that Democrats are trying to extort Republicans into paying for the bad policies of blue state governments as part of the emergency relief bills. They’ve long dreamed of sticking American taxpayers with the cost of covering their unsustainable public worker pensions, entitlement programs and green energy schemes, and now they’re claiming that if we tell them to declare bankruptcy instead of bailing them out, it’s tantamount to wanting the people of those states to die. Take a look at the New York Congress member at around the 3:30 mark, accusing Mitch McConnell of telling first responders to “drop dead,” and tell me he doesn’t remind you of this.

If you watched the sitcom “Friends,” you’ll recognize the Democrats' "bail out blue states" tactic. Remember when Ross’s dad offered to help pay for his wedding, and his fiancee’s dad tried to stick him with the bill for everything from landscaping his lawn to building a new wine cellar? Well, that guy is the Democrats’ and Ross’s dad is all of us taxpayers.

As liberal Rep. James Clyburn openly admitted, the Democrats see this crisis as an historic opportunity to impose their agenda of transforming America. They seem to think that to fight a virus, we need to bail out blue states, raise the minimum wage, pass the Green New Deal, institute voting by mail with no ID, bar people from going to church and declare abortions to be an essential medical procedure. As they often say at the Instapundit site, It’s amazing how the answer to every crisis is to do everything they’ve always wanted to do.

Back in Reality Land, here’s what is actually in the bill that Trump signed.

The Democrats have proposed the Green New Deal and the basic tenets of it have now been embraced by their presumptive nominee, Joe Biden. Those pushing the radical notion of ending fossil fuel use within 10 years because they believe the earth is only going to last for 11 years have said we have to do this NOW. So before you vote for Joe Biden to be President and for Democrats in the House or Senate or in the Governor’s office, you might wonder what the Green New Deal would mean to you. Now, it’s easier than ever to explain. Because if you have enjoyed “stay at home” orders and inability to travel during the coronavirus scare, you’re really going to love the Green New Deal!

Airplanes, cars, trucks and cruise ships won’t be around under the Green New Deal because they run on fossil fuels, which by the way we have plenty of—as in we could go for hundreds of years on them and not run out. The pandemic has caused people to stay home for fear of a virus. In the Green New Deal, you’ll stay home because unless you can walk or ride a bike, you won’t have a way to get to grandma’s house, the store, church, or a vacation. Since meat will be mostly eliminated because cows and other livestock produce methane gas when they….well, when they pass gas, grocery shelves will be stocked with tofu and plant substitutes instead of ribeyes and pork chops. And if you eat that stuff, there probably will be another toilet paper shortage. But unless you live on a farm, since since trucks won’t be allowed to burn fuel and bring produce to your supermarket, I’m not sure how your groceries will get to you anyway so learn to plant a garden unless you live in Michigan where the Governor there doesn’t think you ought to be able to buy vegetable seeds or go fishing.

Next, look around your house for plastic things you have and use. Hang on to them if you like them. They disappear with the Green New Deal.

And I’m not sure how you’ll power your iPhone, laptop or your TV when you have to run your household on the amount of electricity provided by a hamster running on a little wheel. Get used to washing your clothes the way your great-grandmother did, with a washing board and drying with a clothesline in your lawn or apartment balcony. Hope you don’t mind your neighbors seeing your underwear waving like a team flag at the playoffs. And if you live in a cold climate, be careful about those frozen articles of clothing. They will actually break like glass if you aren’t careful. One of the worst whippings I ever got when I was a kid was for going out and breaking my grandmothers frozen underwear that was hanging on the line after a hard freeze.

We’ve experienced lots of inconveniences during the pandemic, but at least we’ve believed they are temporary. In the Green New Deal, we’re talking about permanent changes of the way we live. I hope you liked online church because unless you live in walking distance, you’re out of luck. Remember-no cars!

But younger people who think Greta Thunberg is a prophet and who are especially pushing for these measures better be ready for the sacrifices of giving up air conditioning in the summer and fossil-fueled heat in the winter at home and at school. To help them prepare, I think we ought to go ahead and turn off the a/c at their schools and disable it in their cars. (They ain’t going to like that in Arizona!) And like their ancestors who walked or rode mules to school, students under the Green New Deal for sure will walk but the mule is out of the question because it might emit flatulence which, according to the disciples of the Green New Deal, will destroy the planet.

Yes, a hidden blessing of all of us losing jobs, income, freedom, mobility, investments, retirement accounts, convenience, and all forms of common sense is that we are now better prepared to live in an America run by the people who think you’d rather have their Green New Deal than to enjoy the benefits of a free market and a free people. If Americans really are dumb enough to elect politicians who will destroy our freedom and our prosperity, then the coronavirus ain’t the worst thing that can happen to our brains and our country.