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Rep. James Clyburn declared, “I feel very strongly that (Trump) is Mussolini, Putin and Hitler.”

Note that he said this openly, with no fear of reprisals, on CNN, a national TV network that condemns everything Trump does and says 24/7/365 with no fear of reprisals – just like what would happen under Mussolini, Putin or Hitler!

The big question isn’t “Does anyone actually listen to these people?” It’s “Do these people even listen to themselves?”

If anyone does listen, they might notice that Clyburn’s “reasons” why Trump is a dictator – that he won’t support the peaceful transfer of power, doesn’t plan on having fair elections, and hopes to create an emergency as an argument for his party to be in power – describe precisely what his own party has been doing since Election Night, 2016. And even earlier, if you count Obama’s illegal plot to weaponize the intelligence agencies to spy on the political opposition and frame them as enemy agents. You know, like Stalin would have.

A Political Masterstroke

August 11, 2020

Over the weekend, President Trump issued four executive orders to help Americans cope with continuing COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus lockdowns. They provide relief from student loan payments and help in avoiding eviction for inability to pay rent and mortgages, a payroll tax deferral through 2020 for employers and workers earning less than $100,000 a year, and an extension of expanded unemployment pay at $400 a week extra, a compromise between the $200 Senate Republicans wanted and the $600 House Democrats wanted.

Democrats such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi viciously attacked Trump, accusing him of everything from not doing enough or really doing anything at all to violating the Constitution by legislating through executive orders (reminder: these same people fought tooth and nail defending the DACA program that Obama created by executive order after repeatedly admitting he had no Constitutional authority to do so, and that’s just one of numerous examples of his legislating via EO’s, such as the Iran nuclear deal.) And as if it matters anymore whether executive orders are Constitutional (I guess it only matters when the President is a Republican), here’s a Twitter thread by a law professor who doesn’t support Trump or agree with the orders, but who explains why they are constitutional.

I suspect Pelosi and company are really spitting blood because they know Trump has boxed them in big time. Senate Republicans have been trying to get the House Democrats to work with them and pass a relief extension bill, but the Democrats dragged this out as long as possible, making ridiculous partisan demands that had nothing to do with emergency aid, like instituting mail-in voting or abolishing voter ID. If Americans suffered while they fiddled, that was a feature not a bug. Most people can understand that if they'd really cared and worked hard enough, even the math-challenged House Democrats could have arrived at $400 as a compromise between $200 and $600 (well, maybe not AOC.)

Blue state politicians have shut down their economies endlessly because China released a virus on the world, and Democrats are trying to blame Trump for everything from the resulting economic damage to the virus itself. He’s now stepped in and done their job for them yet again, helping Americans and in the same four strokes of his signature, highlighting how the Dems put politics ahead of helping Americans. Whether you agree with the orders or not, they were a political masterstroke. And at least when Trump did something politically advantageous, it helped Americans rather than hurting them.

Self-Censoring Skyrockets

August 10, 2020

Big corporations aren’t the only ones who are caving to very loud leftist activists. A recent study found that Americans are “self-censoring” far more than they did in the past (I wonder if it’s even worse than this, but they were afraid to tell the truth to the survey-takers?) They call this the “Spiral of Silence.”

Interestingly, the fear of expressing your honest opinions affected Republicans, Democrats and Moderates fairly equally. What accounted for the rise was urbanites and the highly “educated” (quotation marks mine – I no longer consider a college degree to automatically denote being truly educated.)

The authors of the linked article claim that “the evidence suggests that those Americans who have little education and live in the hinterland actually feel most free to speak their minds. Perhaps they have simply never been taught that it is wise to keep their mouths shut.” I couldn’t disagree more: I think that people outside of urban areas are more likely to be taught to be polite and not force their views on others. I doubt that many of the Antifa radicals screaming racial epithets and Marxist bilge into the faces of black cops were raised in small towns in the South.

But they do get right that the fear of reprisals for speaking your mind is not due to government oppression (no matter what liberals say about Trump being a “dictator”), but fear of judgment by their social peers. After enough negative reinforcement, they say a view held by as many as a quarter of a social group may stop being expressed at all. I would argue that due to fear of the “cancel culture,” views held by up to 80 percent of Americans have stopped being expressed.

And I agree with them on this point:

“That is why high levels of self-censorship should be treated as an ominous warning sign. They signal the development of a culture of orthodoxy that is animated by a false sense of certainty about what is true and what is false—and a proud intolerance of those who might dare to voice an opinion that conflicts with the mainstream.”

My only objection is that “mainstream” has now been defined as “far-left.” I don’t recall an election where we all agreed that leftist opinions were the only correct ones worthy of being expressed. The Founders gave us free speech so that all views could be heard, trusting posterity to have the common sense to reject bad ideas and embrace good ideas. This is why the left has tried to redefine speech they disagree with as “violence” that must be banned. Because they can’t call it what it really is: “Arguments we don’t have a good answer for.”

My friend (and you can’t imagine how proud I am to be able to say that) Dr. Alveda King had some choice words for the way former President Obama exploited Rep. John Lewis’ funeral to promote false historical narratives and score political points.

And as long we’re correcting Obama’s historical falsehoods, it’s worth pointing out that there’s only one politician currently active in the top level of politics who repeatedly praised George Wallace and other segregationists, and that’s Joe Biden.

Of course, you could say that was another time and he was just trying to get along with colleagues, although that’s not what it always seemed to be. But that would require looking at history in context, and since today’s Democrats hate that, I wouldn’t want to impose any context on them.

There has been a lot of criticism of the crass politicization of Rep. Lewis’ funeral, but there’s also another controversy discussed on social media that has gone largely unreported by the mainstream media. That is how Democratic politicians are telling other Americans that they can’t go to churches, or have indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, or even attend their own relatives’ or spiritual leaders’ funerals…but when one of their own colleagues died, there was a big, indoor church funeral and they exempted themselves from all the rules they imposed on others.

Here are a few of the commentaries on who deserves a big funeral (Rep. Lewis, George Floyd, etc.) and who doesn’t (your dad.)

Also as noted there, Georgia, where the Lewis funeral took place, is on DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s list of states which anyone returning from must undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine. She declared the funeral to be a government function, and those are “essential,” so those funeral guests were exempt. I hope the virus recognized that they’re VIPs and showed proper deference in not infecting them.

It will be interesting to see if Democratic officials declare Herman Cain’s funeral “essential,” or if it will be considered not “essential,” like those of all your relatives who died in nursing homes in blue states. And who may needlessly continue to do so in some blue states.

Weekend Must-Read: This article at the Bookworm Room blog makes some very thought-provoking points about the similarities of the elections of 1920 and 2020.

One hundred years ago, voters were exhausted and traumatized by years of a foreign war (World War I), reeling from a deadly pandemic (Spanish flu) and rattled by a series of bomb attacks by socialists and anarchists all across America. Sound familiar? They elected Republican Warren G. Harding with over 60% of the Electoral College vote because he promised “a return to normalcy.”

The article suggests that Trump should run on the promise to “Make America Normal Again” (MANA?) That is, to bring back law and order, end riots, get the economy up and running again, make our schools teach kids instead of indoctrinating them, and stop pitting Americans against each other into warring identity group camps. He had made great headway on a lot of those things, including re-establishing border security, American leadership and national sovereignty, even though the Democrats fought all his efforts tooth and nail. They think that to regain power, it’s in their interests to attack and undermine everything normal, from law and order to free enterprise and capitalism to patriotism and American pride to basic biology, the scientific method and objective truth, so that people don’t know their own history and can’t even tell what their gender is.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, it’s not. It’s actually a school of leftist “thought” that’s been around for a long time, and encompasses such arcane concepts as “critical theory,” “postmodernism” and “intersectionality.” Over the past few decades, this crackpot of poison stew has been carefully spoon-fed to young people to erode the nation’s foundations, which is what we’re experiencing right now. There’s more explanation and history of this in the linked article. It’s all coming to a head in 2020, and ironically considering the times, the mask is off. I think most Americans didn’t notice it sneaking up on us, but now that it’s yelling in our faces, we don’t like what we see. We want “normal” back.

The only problem is that Joe Biden is already running on a promise to return America to normalcy. Considering that the Obama/Biden Administration tried to cover up all its failures, like its anemic economy and sluggish job growth, by assuring us that this was “the new normal,” I question whether his side even knows what “normal” means. Their version of “normal” is like the brain Igor picked out in “Young Frankenstein”: “Abby Normal.”

But to Biden and those around him, their idea of “normal” is them running everything. Even if means destroying American history, race relations, the economy, and the basic facts of life, economics and science, things will be “normal” again according to them because we’ll have a President who doesn’t send out mean tweets.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hometown newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, just endorsed her Democratic primary challenger, Antone Melton-Meaux. That’s not really surprising: they didn’t endorse her in her previous primary or election, either; even a paper that liberal has some standards. And Melton-Meaux is just about as far left as Omar in most regards. Besides, newspaper endorsements don’t really mean much these days. So why even link to this story?

Just because it’s instructive to see how gingerly the editors handled Omar’s outrageously inappropriate behavior. Imagine that President Trump, or any Republican at all, had spouted anti-Semitic hate speech so vile that her Party had to pass an anti-bigotry resolution just to paper over it. Would the Star-Tribune diplomatically describe that as her having made “remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic…”? Or how about if a Republican official had engaged in anti-American rhetoric, been accused of bigamy and immigration fraud, and shoveled more than $1.6 million of campaign funds to her current husband’s (?) consulting firm? What are the odds that the paper would sum all that up by saying that the Republican’s term had been “marred by missteps” and “campaign finance issues”?

I haven’t seen such soft-pedaling since the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a mink bicycle.

We’ve always said there would be a few previously-obscure names suddenly providing a whole new avenue of investigation and insight into "Crossfire Hurricane." As of Sunday, the name “Steven Schrage” is one of those. And, yes, he HAS talked with U.S. Attorney John Durham, and says he told Durham a couple of weeks ago that he now feels he must go public.

He has put together a first installment, called “The spies who hijacked America,” intended as a “preview” of what he’ll tell over the next several weeks. For when you have time later --- it’s extremely long but undoubtedly a MUST-READ --- here’s the link.

Schrage’s Ph.D. supervisor was Stefan Halper, whom we know was also an FBI confidential human source (SPY) known as “the Walrus.” Schrage decided to come forward ahead of the full Michael Flynn hearing because he felt the various investigations into Flynn's case had not progressed as they should have. In other words, he’s concerned about how long it’s taking.

"So, I think there’s a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing,” he told Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, and I think that’s why it’s so critical that we get to the bottom of it.” Sad to say, he includes "quite a few Republicans” in that group.

"This shouldn’t be political, about Democrats and Republicans,” he said he told Durham. “This is about officials undermining our democracy, and it needs to be known long before the election.”

Schrage is in a position to shed light on the targeting of Carter Page, which ignited the FBI’s “Trump/Russia” investigation. Page first met Stefan Halper at an overseas conference at Cambridge University in July, 2016. It was three months later that the FBI, after accusing Page in its FISA application of being a Russian agent, got a warrant to spy on him. (As we've noted, this warrant gave them a window into Trump's campaign and even to Trump himself, as it allowed them to go BACK IN TIME through Page’s communications to pick up other people connected to him.)

Schrage is the person who introduced Page to Halper while Page was at Cambridge for the conference

He was then working for Halper as part of his Ph.D. candidacy at Cambridge; he told Maria he had “a long background working on crime and terrorism with the White House and Congress” and had started work on this Ph.D. years earlier at Harvard. He was looking at presidential campaigns from the standpoint of the risks to national security but “had no idea that it would blow up into this.”

Looks to me as though he found a whole new risk to national security --- not one posed by a foreign country infiltrating a campaign, but by our own FBI. He might have a whole new topic for his dissertation now!

Anyway, he said it was when Halper and Christopher Steele’s former MI-6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove (you know that name if you’ve read Lee Smith’s book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT) crossed paths with Page that Halper zeroed in. “At that point,” Schrage said, Halper “seemed to really focus on Page...isolate him, and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign, in ways that seemed like a real turning point.” To Schrage’s “surprise,” the Trump campaign started being characterized as a national security threat, and that narrative “took off.”

Schrage described the way Page ended up at Cambridge talking to Halper as “a comedy of errors rivaling ‘Dumb and Dumber.’” Ironically, because Schrage had “a Republican background,” he'd wanted the conference to be “balanced,” he said. If they were going to include, say, Madeleine Albright, they should also have a Trump representative.

(Not to inject any confusion here, but in 2019, Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, included Schrage in the suspicious group of individuals who should be investigated for their roles in getting Page to Cambridge Don't know if that has changed, but here's the story.)

Here’s another example of suspicion being cast onto Schrage.

Anyway, Schrage told Bartiromo they were looking for someone specifically to represent the Trump campaign, and that role sort of “fell into his [Page’s] lap," adding he didn’t think Halper even knew Page was coming “until I emailed him.”

To put this into a timeline, a few weeks previously, Christopher Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS.

Maria asked Schrage about Halper’s work in 2016 for the Office of Net Assessments (ONA), which paid him six-figure sums ostensibly for four reports on Russia and China, and how the timing of one big payment seemed to correspond with the start of wiretapping Page. Schrage said he’d never heard of such massive payments for that type of work “in an academic setting.”

He also thought it odd that after Page was smeared as a Russian agent, Halper thanked him profusely for introducing them. Then, in 2018, Schrage heard about the massive payments Halper got while Page was being surveilled, and it made sense.

"All these tentacles” lead back to the same little group, he said: Steele, Halper, Halper’s handler at the FBI. Significantly, no one at the Senate has subpoenaed these people, in four years.

This apparently is one reason why he feels REPUBLICANS have a role in protecting them. “How are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn’s hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of this?”

Schrage, who recorded his conversations with Halper routinely as part of his studies, has a recording from January 10, 2017, five days after the infamous Oval Office meeting about Flynn and two days before the WASHINGTON POST leak about Flynn being investigated for Logan Act violations. (Halper and one of his students both had WAPO connections.) Schrage had previously told Halper that Flynn was extremely close with President-elect Trump. Even so, Halper seemed to know...somehow...that Flynn would be gone soon.

Halper: “If you go to the NSC, you have to consider very carefully if you feel it’s appropriate for you to work for Flynn. I don’t think Flynn’s going to be around long. That’s just my guess. The way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with someone...probably lots of people. And...when people [who] oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you’re at odds with. And that’s how it builds and then eventually you get squeezed pretty hard.”

He continues: “But Flynn’s reaction to that is to blow up and get angry...I mean, I don’t know where he goes from there. But that is his reaction. That’s why he’s so unsuitable.”

It seems to me that one reason Schrage might go public now is that he knows the Durham report is bad and wants to make sure he's not implicated by anyone in the scheme to use Page. But even if he did come forward out of self-interest, he has a detailed story to tell, with more coming soon.