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AOC's double standard

February 25, 2020

“If It Weren’t For Double Standards…” Dept: A few years ago, before entering politics, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bragged on social media about somehow being able to get her goddaughter into a good charter school, something that liberals like her want to abolish because they think private education alternatives to public schools undermine the power of teachers’ unions. Needless to say, they also undermine the school’s ability to indoctrinate students with leftist curricula because they empower parents.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/the-aoc-tapes-rep-says-she-got-goddaughter-into-bronx-charter-school

I have never understood why anyone would think that the public school system should prioritize protecting teachers’ unions over the good of the students (but then, I don’t belong to a political party that’s heavily dependent on money and campaign volunteers from teachers’ unions.) The only purpose of a school should be to give the students the best education possible, and if it’s failing to do that, then something needs to change.

As hypocritical as this story makes AOC sound, though, I have to cut her some slack. I don’t blame her for wanting her goddaughter to have the best education possible. In fact, I want that child to go to a good charter school with a real economics class that won’t teach her to be a socialist. And AOC is hardly the only liberal politician to preach public schools for everyone else while sending their own family to expensive private schools. Frankly, I can’t think offhand of any liberal politicians who did send their kids to public school (you’re welcome to list them in the comments section if you know of any. And Elizabeth Warren’s denials don’t count.)

It’s only natural to want the best education possible for your own family. I just wish they'd quit fighting so hard to deny that right to other people's children.

Just as the Democrats have started in AGAIN, this time for 2020, with their frantic cries of “Russia, Russia, Russia!,” Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced the formal start of his investigation this coming week into FISA abuse and the origins of the “Trump/Russia” hoax.

Sen. Graham told Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES that he doesn’t “have jurisdiction” over the whistleblower (you know, ERIC CIARAMELLA) --- which would belong to the Senate Intelligence Committee, I suppose because of highly classified material --- but in light of the current DOJ’s decision that the last two FISA renewals to spy on Carter Page were illegal, he plans to call a long list of people to determine what Andrew McCabe and James Comey knew about the fictional nature of the Christopher Steele “dossier,” and how early in the process they knew it.

We still don’t have determinations on the legality of the original FISA warrant application and the first renewal; those are pending. But we know for sure that way back in January of 2017, Steele’s primary Russian “subsource” told four members of the DOJ and FBI that the dossier was nothing but “bar-talk and hearsay,” as Graham put it. For an investigation so important –- into a major-party nominee for President, no less –- how could the director and deputy director of the FBI not have known about this? (Answer: THEY DID, but they’ve already lied so much, I wouldn’t expect the truth from them about this, either.) Yet they kept pursuing their bogus investigation, to the point at which the whole issue was handed off to Robert Mueller’s special counsel. The four people who heard directly from the subsource are at the top of the list Graham intends to call.

Recall that the first FISA application was made after a previous effort to get a warrant, in July of 2016, was turned down by the court. On Sunday, Sen. Graham mentioned something quite interesting: It was McCabe, at that time the deputy FBI Director, who then advised the FBI Washington, DC, office to go to the New York office, saying “they have something” that might help them get a warrant. That “something” was the Steele dossier.

So….how did McCabe know about the dossier? Who had been in touch with McCabe about it? (We know that stupid dossier was being floated around by then-CIA Director and known liar John Brennan; if I were investigating this, I’d focus on him.) Also, did Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on the last FISA renewal, know that the dossier had already been debunked? How could he possibly not have known that?

The interviews with McCabe and Comey won’t be happening right away. Before Graham calls them, he needs to lay the groundwork. So his staff will be interviewing other witnesses first to assemble the necessary foundation.

We know they kept renewing the FISA warrant after they knew the dossier on which it had been based was a pile of trash. Why did they keep going –- not just within the FBI but two more years with a special counsel, when there was no evidence of any underlying crime? In Sen. Graham’s words, “This whole thing is fishy as hell.”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/02/23/lindsey_graham_says_he_will_call_21_people_to_testify_in_senate_judiciary_investigation_into_fisa_abuses.html

Over in the House Judiciary Committee, they’re supposedly looking at the FISA issue as well and are scheduled to work this week on a “markup” of new legislation. But under the control of impeachment-mad Jerrold Nadler, the focus has not been on determining what is wrong with that process. Ranking member Doug Collins wanted to have Inspector General Horowitz come in and give testimony about the problems he found with the FBI’s use of the FISA court, but that hasn’t happened. It’s no surprise that Nadler isn’t going to get into all that. “And now,” Collins said, “we’re going to put forward a bill that, really, I don’t think is going to address the issues. We’re gonna have some say about that; wait for what we’re gonna be putting forward. I think we’re gonna find ways to understand it. We need to restore the American people’s trust in [FISA], and if that cannot be done, then people will not have confidence that our intelligence communities are doing what they need to be doing and being able to use this court properly.”

Attorney General Bill Barr goes before the House Judiciary Committee at the end of March. Rep. Collins wants to know, as we all do, why Andrew McCabe was not charged. He also wants to make sure that the Durham criminal investigation has all the resources it needs to go forward. There are questions for FBI director Christopher Wray as well. But Nadler and the Democrats will be too busy trying to trash Barr as someone just trying to protect the President to drill down on these important issues.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/barr-hearing-will-address-whether-john-durham-has-adequate-resources

My take-away: ELECTIONS MEAN THINGS. If Democrats hadn’t taken control of the House in 2018, we already would have been able to look into all of this. Instead of FISA reform, we got Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and the ginned-up impeachment. It’s so important that the House be taken out of their hands with the 2020 election.

As for the renewed “Russia” hysteria, the media will cooperate at every step with Democrats trying to spread it. Adam Schiff likely leaked information –- somebody did, and he’s the most likely suspect –- from a classified briefing to THE NEW YORK TIMES, who grabbed on to the old “Trump is an agent of Putin” idea” with no supporting evidence at all. Why would it surprise anyone that big-time leaker Schiff would leak classified information? Likewise, why would it surprise anyone that the Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese or anyone else might try to interfere with our elections, in 2016 or 2020 or any year, past, present or future? It would be weird if they DIDN’T. We know that Russia –- along with Ukraine and surely other foreign entities –- “meddled” in 2016 to create chaos (which we got), but keep this in mind: Foreigners may have “meddled,” but Democrats in our own government helped them when they “peddled”...the Steele dossier. And now they’re peddling the same garbage.

The media are ready partners in that effort, and this “Russia” story lingers and spreads like a political coronavirus. Here’s a piece from last December that seems even more significant now in light of what we know…

https://pjmedia.com/trending/reporters-lied-steele-dossier-carter-page-fisa-warrants/

Now here’s a new story on the latest “peddling,” and it should surprise no one who is leading the charge…

https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/21/hillary-clinton-peddles-russia-collusion-2-0-labels-trump-putins-puppet/

Who was Philip Haney and why did he die?

I can offer some information regarding the first part of that question but none, at least yet, on the last part. “Brilliant, dedicated, devout” are some of the words being used by his stunned friends to describe Philip Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security who, according to one online tribute, “was characterized by tireless, intrepid, and in certain quarters unwelcome research and analysis about...Islam’s totalitarian code known as sharia and the supremacists who seek to impose it on all of us.”

Haney co-authored a book with Art Moore detailing the challenges of his work during the Obama administration called “SEE SOMETHING, SAY NOTHING: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.” His job was to identify individuals and organizations with terrorist links, and he made it clear he saw people promoting sharia law within this country as America’s “enemy within.” He was self-taught in Arabic and had spent many years studying the Koran and other sacred and judicial texts.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for his life and innumerable contributions to the cause of freedom,” the tribute continues, “many of which will never be publicly acknowledged or otherwise made known to his countrymen and women whom he did so much to secure.”

This DHS “whistleblower” apparently did not receive whistleblower protection when he exposed some intricate ties inside the Obama administration to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups they called their “outreach partners.” It might come as little surprise that for his efforts, Haney was reportedly subjected to various job actions, investigations and threats. Rep. Louis Gomert apparently helped him clear his name and retire with full benefits; Gomert’s glowing review of Haney’s book, in which he calls Haney “a modern-day hero” and “an honorable, truthful patriot,” can be found on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/See-Something-Say-Nothing-Governments/dp/1944229205

Haney’s wife Francesca died last year after a long struggle with her health, but Haney had gone on with his life and was planning to be married in about a month.

Early unofficial reports said that Haney had been found on the ground next to his vehicle, killed by one gunshot to the chest, near the intersection of two highways in Drytown, California, not far from his home in the San Francisco area. The story is developing, with few details so far and some conflicting reports, but at the time of this writing neither suicide nor foul play can be definitively ruled out. National security specialist Ilana Freedman, who had worked with Haney, said in an interview Sunday with The Gateway Pundit that she was very surprised and that people who knew him wouldn’t believe he committed suicide. “He was a very religious man who believed suicide was a sin," she said. "A fellow associate I know said Philip stated several times that if he was accused of suicide not to believe it. He said that to a lot of people.”

She said he was working on a project involving some very serious allegations that was going to be published later this year. I’m passing this information along just to let you know this is what his friends are saying. But, as I said, no one can get inside someone else’s mind, and I would not want to come to a conclusion at this point based on speculation. I’ll have more information to share when this story passes that stage.

In the meantime, check out the interview Haney gave in June of 2016 with Sean Hannity.

https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2020/02/22/report-obama-administration-whistleblower-found-shot-to-death/

Bernie Sanders wins in Nevada

February 24, 2020

Bernie Sanders notched up a decisive win in Saturday’s Nevada Caucuses. At this writing (early Monday morning), with 88% of precincts reporting (and why is it taking so long to count these votes? Do they let Bernie's economic advisers handle the math?), Bernie has 47.1% (13 delegates) with Joe Biden a distant second at 21% (2 delegates), followed by Buttigieg (13.7%, 1 delegate), Warren (9.6%, no delegates) and everyone else below 5% (Bloomberg didn’t participate.)

This sets up Bernie Sanders as the Democrats’ definite front runner. Biden is calling his second-place win a comeback, but he was leading in Nevada polls until recently. He’s hoping that South Carolina will bring him back into the lead, but it now seems harder than before, since Biden was counting on strong African-American support, and Nevada proved that Bernie is drawing a lot of that. Bernie also got the lion’s share of Latino support, which is surprising, since you would think Latinos would have friends or relatives from places like Nicaragua, Venezuela or Cuba who would warn them not to fall for the siren song of socialism.

In fact, they’re trying. In case you missed it, try this…

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/socialisms-victims-warn-us-bernie-sanders-your-enemy-dont-fall-it-people-are

Or this…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/02/15/donald-trump-venezuela-socialism-bernie-sanders-ilhan-omar-column/2861461002/

If Sanders can keep his momentum going through Super Tuesday, it will be hard for anyone else to overtake him, since the Dems have no winner-take-all states. So even if Sander loses a state, he’ll still likely add to his delegate total (as with “doing away with the Electoral College,” the Democrats are always changing the rules to give themselves an advantage in the last election without thinking ahead to what it might do to them in the next election. Here’s a story from back in 2018, warning them that they were setting themselves up for a fiasco in 2020, but did they listen?...)

https://prospect.org/power/democrats-just-set-fiasco/

So now, Democratic Party leaders are panicking and their press agents in the “news” media are in meltdown mode over the possibility that the Party’s Presidential nominee won’t even be a Democrat but instead a ranting Socialist with fiscally ruinous policies, and a severely misplaced admiration of such communist Utopias as the USSR and Cuba.

https://victorygirlsblog.com/liberal-tears-flow-msnbc-bernie-win/

Lest you think I’m slandering him, “60 Minutes” ran an interview with Bernie just last night, in which he praised Castro’s murderous, oppressive dictatorship, saying this, which echoes the praise of Mussolini, that at least he "made the trains run on time"...

“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but it’s unfair to simply say everything’s bad. When Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bernie-sanders-fidel-castro-cuba-socialist-defense

On Twitter, Charles C.W. Cooke noted that “came into office” is a “euphemism for the ages,” while Cory Morgan writes, “Literacy is always a good thing in a totalitarian dictatorship. You want to be able to read those 50-year-old books donated to the prison library as you do your 15-year stint for being critical of the state.”

https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2020/02/23/not-the-onion-bernie-sanders-praises-the-castro-regime-in-new-60-minutes-interview/

As for Bernie’s attempts to deflect his genuine admiration of communist dictators by pointing out that Trump has said nice things about Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, I’d like to point out that that’s just a negotiating tactic when he was trying to get them to sign a deal. It was summed up well by Will Rogers, who said that “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”

Personally, I have to congratulate Bernie. He’s dangerously wrong about absolutely everything, but he campaigned hard, he fought for the votes, and he won fair and square, which must be a real novelty for him in a Democratic Primary.

But that said, as any American should be, I’m also appalled that an open socialist would ever come within a thousand miles of a major party Presidential nomination. Some people think this is great for Republicans because Trump would beat him so badly, it would harm Democrats all down the ticket. But as much as I want to see the House flipped, I’d like to see it done because Americans realize that Republican ideas work better, not because one of the two major parties committed suicide, or because vast numbers of Americans have been so misled and miseducated that they would actually vote away their birthright for socialism’s poisonous, empty promises of “free stuff.”

I have long said that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas, and the country is healthier when we have a strong two-party system with open debate. If we lose that, it will be because the Democratic Party leadership flushed away their own legitimacy. If they’re panicked by Bernie’s success, what did they expect? They created it.

First, their attempts to rig the last primary for Hillary insured that Bernie would start 2020 with a strong organization fueled by fired-up supporters who felt that the Establishment had ripped them off and who were dead set on insuring that it didn’t happen again (this is part of the parallel I made recently between Bernie and Trump.)

And in a larger sense, the Democrats spent decades taking over the schools so they could spoonfeed socialism and blaming-America-for-all-the-world’s-ills to generations of kids. Now, they’re surprised that their party is being taken over by young radicals who hate America and don’t know how horrible socialism is? They’re like Dr. Frankenstein being surprised that the monster he created turned on him. Unfortunately, now the monster is threatening the entire village.

Let us hope Democratic primary voters come to their senses. If not, then we can look forward to the starkest choice in Presidential election history, a choice that really will be “the most important election of our lifetimes,” since it could determine whether America remains America or not.

The annual Economic Report of the President was released Thursday, a massive 435-page compilation of government economic statistics. Here’s the entire thing in PDF form, if you’d like a little weekend light reading:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-Economic-Report-of-the-President-WHCEA.pdf

If you’d prefer a bottom-line summary, try this: This economy is hotter than Satan’s steam bath. And no, former President Obama, you did not build that.

Obama and many Democrats are trying to claim that Trump merely inherited a booming Obama economy, which makes me concerned that they might be suffering short term memory loss. The Obama Administration ended just three years ago. Most of us remember it quite well. Remember when economists used to be surprised by monthly jobs reports because they were LESS than predicted rather than MORE than predicted? That was the Obama years in a nutshell. Hope, but no change.

The White House is going all-out to crush that narrative, and using the numbers in the new report as a sledge hammer...

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/trump-bump-real/

They quote a number of stats to argue that there has clearly been a major upswing from the end of the Obama years, when many economists were warning we were overdue for a recession (the previous one officially ended in June 2009, but many Americans hardly noticed for years; and when they complained about stagnant pay, anemic job creation and low growth, they were told it was the “new normal,” manufacturing jobs weren’t coming back, and to get used to it.) Here are five facts from the new report that show the Trump economy is outpacing Obama’s far beyond what the “experts” predicted:

“Real GDP is 1.4 percent—or $260 billion—higher than projected…Real wage and salary compensation per household is roughly $2,300 higher than projected…Total non-farm payroll employment is 5 million higher than projected…The unemployment rate is 1.4 percentage points below projections…The labor force participation rate is 1.5 percentage points above projections.” That last figure means many people who gave up looking for a job under Obama are now back at work, which also helps reduce the need for government assistance such as food stamps.

It also notes that there were “turnarounds or improvements in the pre-election trends for homeownership, prime-age labor force participation, manufacturing employment, labor productivity, and net wealth for the bottom half of American households.” That's right, despite what you keep hearing from Bizarro World (i.e., the Democratic debates), this economy is working for the poor and middle class.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/the-trump-economy-benefits-historically-disadvantaged-americans/

Again, in short: the report confirms that areas that were trending downward or incrementally improving under Obama all took off like a rocket after Trump took office. There are a lot of charts and graphs in the report, but if you want to summarize them all, imagine a chart showing the acceleration of a powerful speed boat with its motor going full throttle. Trump’s Inauguration would mark the point at which someone cut the rope tying the boat to the dock.

Roger Stone was sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson as originally scheduled on Thursday, despite revelations about the vicious anti-Trump views and Democrat activism of the jury foreperson.

Stone, who is 67, didn’t receive the stunningly punitive seven-to-nine year sentence recommended by his prosecutors, but it’s still pretty substantial, especially considering that numerous others who have lied to Congress are still walking around free, profiting off book deals and contracts with CNN and MSNBC. Jackson sentenced Stone to serve 3 years and 4 months, pay a $20,000 fine, spend 2 years in supervised release and perform 250 hours’ community service.

But because of the allegations of juror bias and misconduct, she did suspend the imposition of all those punishments pending her ruling on Stone’s request for a new trial. Of course, if she grants one, those punishments are voided. President Trump could also pardon him.

The backstory: Prosecutors recommended an outrageously harsh sentence for Stone –- seven to nine years, when typically it would be about three –- and the DOJ reduced that to something approaching that average. Four prosecutors responded by acting like babies and leaving their jobs in protest (good riddance). Democrats went bat-nuts and accused AG William Barr of doing Trump’s bidding, ludicrously calling for him to resign or else be impeached. Trump complained in his tweets about the excessive sentence, but Barr says the DOJ decided to intervene before hearing anything from him.

Tucker Carlson noted on Thursday that Jackson is the judge who placed both Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates under house arrest pending trial, though neither was a flight risk or had any criminal history. It was also Judge Jackson who revoked Manafort’s bail and placed him in solitary confinement.

In her courtroom Thursday, she lit into Stone, saying he was “prosecuted for covering up for the President.” She said Stone lied because he knew that public disclosures that he was in touch with WikiLeaks would “reflect badly” on Trump. The left cheered her for this, but what she said is a lie. First, unless she’s one of those “certified authentic psychics,” she can’t possibly have known this was in his mind. Second, Stone was NOT actually in touch with WikiLeaks. Third, Stone was not charged with helping Trump cover up anything; there was nothing to cover up, as nobody associated with President Trump has been prosecuted for “colluding” with Russia or any related crimes, let alone has been found guilty of such crimes. In fact, a two-year special counsel investigation found no evidence of anything on Trump’s part that needed to be “covered up.” Question: how much hate must a federal judge have for the President to say such a thing in her courtroom?

Carlson also told his audience that Stone “would be on this show right now to respond, but he can no longer speak in public. Amy Berman Jackson has revoked his First Amendment rights.” Stone can be defamed mercilessly,” he said, “but if he dares to express his own opinion, Amy Berman Jackson will send him to jail immediately --- she said that.” Jackson banned Stone from speaking publicly, in ANY forum, about his case, and no one else can speak on his behalf. “...What you’re watching is the capricious authoritarianism of a Democratic activist wearing robes.”

Predictably, just the fact that Stone received prison time is being used by the media to suggest Trump himself is a criminal. The words of this judge enable them to continue their phony “Russia collusion” narrative, which is well past its expiration date and beginning to stink. The President still “colludes” with Putin, they say, and if we just keep digging, we’ll eventually find some piece of evidence that confirms it.

At least Jackson knew she’d better defer to Barr’s more reasonable recommendation and scale back the sentence, but Stone shouldn’t have been sentenced at all. After learning about the horrendous bias of the jury foreperson, Democrat activist Tomeka Hart, this judge should have had no choice but to start over with a new trial for Stone –- and a change of venue from Washington DC –- or else let him go after all he’s been through. Instead, she praised the jurors for having “served with integrity under difficult circumstances.” Maybe some did, but not all.

And tell me, given Hart’s activism and social media history, how did she get a seat in the jury box in the first place? She was so invested in the outcome, she continued expressing interest in the prosectors and the sentencing even after the verdict was reached; this was none of her concern.

Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign advisor who suffered his own legal problems as a result, was on with Carlson to ask people to sign the petition at FreeRogerStone.com, asking for Stone to be pardoned immediately. That’s “immediately,” meaning “now, not after the election.” Trump has said he wants the case to “play out to its fullest,” as he thinks Stone “has a very good chance of exoneration.” He’d like to see it go through the system, although “the system” has failed Stone thus far.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/150000-have-signed-petition-urging-president-trump-to-pardon-roger-stone/

So I hope he listens to the many thousands who have signed and will sign this petition, as opposed to people like Adam Schiff, who is desperate to continue the “Russia” hoax and who, interestingly, talked about Stone in almost the same words Judge Jackson used: “Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress. He did it to cover up for Trump...to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption.”

Of course, the Grand Poobah of the Great Russia Hoax, former CIA Director John Brennan, will do all he can to preserve the false narrative. Thursday, he tweeted: “We are now in a full-blown national security crisis. By trying to prevent the flow in intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES is helping maintain this fiction, having just reported that Russia plans to “meddle” in the 2020 election. I like what Trey Gowdy had to say about that: “I don’t know anyone who really thinks that Russia prefers Donald Trump to win over Comrade Sanders.”

Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison as judge slams him for 'covering up for' Trump

Clean it up fast California

February 20, 2020

Los Angeles is supposed to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, but there’s concern that the city’s ever-worsening crime, filth and homelessness will cause problems and reflect badly on America. We don’t want the athletes having to compete in new events, like “Outrunning Typhus” and “Jumping Over Garbage Piles.” This week, President Trump warned the city’s liberal leaders to “clean it up, fast,” and if they can’t do it themselves, the federal government will take it over and do it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-gets-tough-los-angeles-clean-going/

This isn’t the first time Trump has pointed out the disgusting conditions in liberal-run cities such as Baltimore and Nancy Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco, and threatened federal intervention to clean up the filth. But if he does, he’d better send some federal troops to protect the trash collectors.

Recently, Scot Presler, who started a group of volunteer Trump supporters who clean up filthy, neglected neighborhoods in leftist-run cities, led a clean-up effort in San Francisco. He noticed two things different from every other city they’ve helped to clean: 1. He’d never seen so much human feces on the streets. 2. It was the only place where Antifa thugs showed up to threaten, curse and protest them. Presler said, “I never thought I would see the day I’d be protested for picking up trash.”

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/02/05/exclusive-trump-supporter-shares-story-of-leftists-protesting-sf-street-clean-up/

Try to think of the people who keep voting to reelect politicians who allow crime, homelessness, trash and disease to get worse and worse the same way you think of elderly relatives who become hoarders and get enraged if you try to throw out their old pizza boxes or stacks of newspapers from 1987. You have to tread carefully with them because even though you can see they’re living in dangerous, unhealthy filth, they can’t, because they have a mental disorder.

About that Democrat debate

February 20, 2020

Mike Bloomberg’s deliberately vague campaign slogan is “Mike Can Get It Done,” and give him credit: last night, he did. He managed to finally make a Democratic debate entertaining just by showing up. (Also, to get this out of the way up front,: no, Bloomberg did not stand on a box. Lucky for him; if he had, Elizabeth Warren probably would have set it on fire.)

That’s not to say that it did his presidential aspirations much good. In fact, you could argue that his appearance in the debate was the most disastrous strategic misstep since Michael Dukakis said, “I’d love to ride in a tank, but do you have a helmet that’s 10 sizes too big?”

Bloomberg has been trying to sell himself like an “As Seen On TV” product, by blanketing the airwaves and Internet with wall-to-wall commercials. But by avoiding the essential steps of debating and campaigning (which teach candidates to listen to voters and assert and defend their positions), he made what his first big national appearance as a Presidential candidate hopelessly unprepared. Voters who’d been swayed by his ad onslaught must’ve felt like consumers who were considering paying $99.95 for a “miracle anti-aging cream” only to learn it’s just a can of Crisco.

Bloomberg proved that you can buy up all the airtime, consultants, social media “influencers” and zinger writers in the world, and it’s still no substitute for political experience, empathy or personal contact with working Americans. Campaign events and townhalls are where bubble-dwelling politicians (and billionaire wannabe politicians) who think they know how to run your life better than you do discover that, say, farmers, actually know more about a lot more important things than they do.

But Bloomberg didn’t just self-immolate his own campaign. He may have helped burn down whatever crumbling walls of the Democratic Party were still standing. Viewers, many of whom I assume were Democrats hoping to see any reason to convince them to stick to their party, instead saw a shoutfest in which all the candidates savaged each other when they weren’t attacking Bloomberg. Here are just a few of the things we now know about the candidates, and bear in mind, this is what they said about each other:

Amy Klobuchar prosecutes possibly innocent black youths, doesn’t know who the President of Mexico is, and her health care plan is a “Post-it Note.” Pete Buttigieg has billionaire contributors and is an unqualified small town mayor who’s memorized a lot of talking points and has a health care plan that’s a Powerpoint presentation. Bernie Sanders has scary crazy followers and is a famous socialist with three houses, as well as ruinous, commie economic and health care plans. Mike Bloomberg is a sexist who calls women "fat broads and horse-faced lesbians” and makes them sign non-disclosure agreements (he claimed that’s just because they didn’t like jokes he told, not realizing he was addressing a crowd who routinely destroy people’s lives for having told a politically incorrect joke a decade ago.)

https://www.westernjournal.com/flustered-bloomberg-accidentally-suggests-fired-sexual-harassment/

There was much more, but that’s enough. You can see why Stephen Green at PJ Media compared this debate to the “food fight” scene in “Animal House.” Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit observed, “Everyone on the Dem debate stage seems unbalanced — they look so angry that they’re about to either hit someone or burst into tears. It’s bizarre.” (Actually, that sounds to me like the entire Democratic Party ever since Election Night 2016.)

The only thing they seem to be able to agree on is that Donald Trump must go, even though they also claim to want to help the poor and minorities, who are finally getting good jobs and raises under Trump. Also, Gallup recently found that 90% of Americans are happy with their lives, but don’t worry, these Democrats have a plethora of plans to reverse that.

As for Joe Biden, he started out strong but slipped into word salad mode as the evening wore on, but the relative lack of attacks on him to focus on Bloomberg was a sad, unspoken verdict on how far he’s fallen in the other candidates’ eyes, from frontrunner to “candidate not worth attacking.” Elizabeth Warren probably “won” the debate, but only because she did so much damage to Bloomberg, the political equivalent of cleaning your house by burning it down. Also, she seems to be locked into a single attitude: “righteous fury.” She claims to have posed for over 100,000 “selfies,” but I wonder if she’s scowling in all of them.

Even worse for the Party was when Bloomberg actually scored a few points, and they only illustrated how far off the rails the Democrats have gone. Like when he asked if he was the only one on stage who’d ever started a business, and the others could only stand there in silence. But easily the most cringeworthy moment came when Bloomberg slammed the other candidates for attacking capitalism, saying, “We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that, other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn't work."

And the crowd audibly groaned and booed!

Imagine being a moderate Democrat voter and actually hearing your fellow party members boo someone criticizing communism. Is Donald Trump starting to look good yet?


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Other Voices:

Naturally, President Trump weighed in on the Democrats’ debate…

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/after-evening-rallying-base-in-phoenix-trump-joins-dems-in-piling-on-bloomberg

And if you think I’m biased in my assessment of the debate, here are a few comments from the Democratic side. At the New York Times website, Times readers said this:

“I am finding this unbelievably troubling. The worst debate I have ever seen”…“I turned it off after 10 minutes, horrified”...“Too hyperbolic, too inaccurate, too gratuitously damaging, too much intentional misrepresentation, too much waffling when the opposite was called for”… “Horrid, debate tonight. This food-fight format is just awful. All the candidates should be forced to watch this in its entirety, so they don't repeat this ugly debacle”…“This is sickening, a real slug fest with everyone shouting at the top of their lungs as if the world needed a hearing aid. I almost wish I needed one so I could remove it. If these are the survivors of 9 debates, we're in worse trouble than I thought.”

Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh ranked the winners and losers and finds only one winner, Warren. I think she forgot the big winner: Donald Trump.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/mary-anne-marsh-in-fierce-democratic-presidential-debate-here-are-winners-and-losers

My friend Van Jones, with whom I have very little in common politically, compared Bloomberg’s performance to the Titanic, with Warren as the iceberg. He astutely noted that “he just wasn’t ready. He was tone-deaf on issue after issue, and the reason why: he’s not been in those living rooms, he hasn’t been doing those town halls.”

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/cnns-van-jones-buries-bloomberg-for-disaster-debate-titanic-meet-iceberg-tone-deaf-on-issue-after-issue/

And Justin Baragona of the Daily Beast may have had the best line on Twitter: “Bloomberg brought a wallet to a gun fight tonight.” Well, he is Mike Bloomberg; you can’t expect him to bring a gun to a gun fight.

Not long ago, I observed that the move was on in the media to discredit three people: Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and investigative reporter/opinion writer John Solomon. These are all now in full swing.

THE HILL, where Solomon’s work used to appear, has just reported on an internal review of his columns they began in November of last year, after U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine criticized them during the Trump impeachment hearings. The review was quite a project, with working groups formed to look at each of 14 pieces Solomon had written for TheHill.com. They “analyzed and discussed them at length, looking at possible corrections and/or context that could have been added at the time of the writings. They also “reviewed congressional testimony and other public documentation related to Solomon’s columns, as well as related media reports, to add editor’s notes to the columns regarding what has been learned since the columns were posted by THE HILL.” They also included some of Solomon’s “relevant public remarks” that were in response to critics.

Solomon was hired by THE HILL on July 10, 2017, as vice president for digital video (to launch Hill.TV), and wrote numerous news articles for them in 2017 and 2018. An editorial decision was made to label his work “opinion” after May 14, 2018. He left THE HILL on October 4 of last year.

When they announced that Solomon would be categorized as an opinion writer, I said that might actually be a good thing, as it allowed him freedom in connecting dots that a straight news writer doesn’t have. (If only more “journalists” who write their opinions were similarly labeled –- but that seems to happen rarely and only with conservative opinion writers.) Here at MikeHuckabee.com, we’ve continued to use his findings as we work to put the puzzle pieces together at our end as well.

THE HILL’s review focused on columns Solomon had written about Ukraine that reported on Joe and Hunter Biden and also members of the U.S. diplomatic corps there. Solomon was appearing frequently on Sean Hannity’s TV show, so his work had a wide reach. My staff and I often refer to his findings –- of course, our work is “opinion” as well, but we stand behind the facts we have used from his reports.

Of course, the issue of corruption in Ukraine, including the Bidens, is what led to “the phone call” between Trump and President Zelensky, the fake “whistleblower” report by ERIC CIARAMELLA, and the whole impeachment charade. (Note: since this is “opinion” and it’s my site, I’ll say that if I want to.) THE HILL followed a vetting process for his columns just as they did with the work of all their opinion writers, involving at least one and often two opinion editors. Solomon had to provide them information about his unnamed sources, identifying them and offering their relevance to the topic, and he had to supply copies of documents he’d referenced as fact or used in the formation of his opinions and conclusions.

No source cited by Solomon ever contacted THE HILL to demand corrections or clarifications –- with one exception: Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the George Soros-funded Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). She wrote a column strongly rebutting Solomon’s criticism of AntAC and the U.S. embassy’s role in fighting corruption in Ukraine.

It seems to me that THE HILL’s report on Solomon actually compliments his work –- perhaps unwittingly –- when it says people might be confused into thinking it was news and not opinion because it’s long and detailed, contains a lot of facts and caveats and reads like a real news report! Imagine that. Most of what we read today is labeled “news” and reads like opinion; Solomon’s work is labeled “opinion” and reads like news.

Also, a couple of Solomon’s Ukrainian sources have been deemed unreliable by some State Department officials (remember that crew from the impeachment hearings?). Then-Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko had told Solomon he’d opened an investigation into alleged attempts by Ukrainians to interfere in the U.S. election in 2016, and also that then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich had given him a do-not-prosecute list. “State Department officials, U.S. national security agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee have concluded that Ukraine did not meddle in the 2016 presidential election,” THE HILL’s report asserts. “Russian government officials, who have denied meddling in the 2016 election, have pushed the narrative that Ukraine interfered in that U.S. election.”

This again. It’s verboten to say Ukraine was involved in the 2016 election, as there’s this odd premise that it had to be EITHER Russia OR Ukraine, not both, and it was Russia, so therefore it couldn’t be Ukraine. The candy mint/breath mint argument. Anyone who even entertains the notion that Ukraine tried to interfere is a heretic, a crazy conspiracy theorist. (By the way, I’m not so sure that everyone on the Senate Intel Committee is on board with the conclusion that Ukraine wasn’t involved.)

Also in the report: due to a translation error, it may not have been that Yovanovich had an actual written list. She may have “voiced” the list. And Lutsenko offered Solomon slightly different details in his “list” story than when he told it to a Ukrainian newspaper.

Solomon continues to stand by his columns on Lutsenko, Yovanovich and Ukraine meddling. He also denies allegations that he “smeared” Yovanovich, noting that supportive remarks about her by State Department officials were included in his columns. (Note: The same allegation about smearing Yovanovich has been used to damage Giuliani.) In testimony during the impeachment hearings, these stories were cited as part of the attempt to oust Yovonovich, an official who, in my OPINION, really needed ousting.

The report goes on to discuss Solomon’s columns about the Bidens, noting that “there has never been any proof of legal wrongdoing by the Bidens.” Sorry, but that observation belongs in the same category as “Ukrainians didn’t interfere in the 2016 election.”

One thing that should have been disclosed by Solomon but that has since been clarified is the fact that Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, who both have been involved with some of the key players in Ukraine, even representing the oligarch Dmitry Firtash, are also Solomon’s own longtime lawyers.

After reading the full report, I find nothing that should cast doubt on what Solomon has written. Editors at THE HILL were concerned that their policies regarding the “hybridization” of investigative reporting and opinion writing were causing confusion among their readership, as there are certain rules for reporters regarding full disclosure that Solomon hadn’t followed. My staff and I never had any problem understanding that Solomon’s writing was in the “opinion” category.

But they’ve revised their policies; the new rules are at the end of their report. And one of these is that “opinion” pieces aren't to read like news stories. Personally, I think Solomon’s fact-packed way of writing his “opinion” –- really an ongoing investigation –- is much more useful to someone wanting to understand the complicated goings-on in Ukraine than a run-of-the-mill opinion piece would be. It’s fortunate that he’s gone on to continue investigating and writing on his own.

The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine