Trump campaign sues NYT

February 27, 2020

When President Trump warned that lawsuits would be coming over the New York Times’ false reports of him colluding with Russia, most media outlets laughed it off as nothing but bluster. They are very slow learners.

Wednesday, Trump’s reelection campaign filed suit in New York State court against the Times for allegedly knowingly publishing false and defamatory statements about Trump and his campaign aides.

They specifically cited an op-ed by Max Frankel published on March 27th of last year, titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” which flatly states that there was a deal between Trump’s campaign and “Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy” to defeat Hillary Clinton. His attorneys pointed out that the article included no proof of this claim, and it was knowingly defamatory because it contradicted the paper’s own previous reporting. They claim it was rushed out to get ahead of the release of the Mueller report, which the paper knew was likely to find no evidence of any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. They further claim this is part of a “systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign, designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and seek to cause the organization to fail.”

Defamation cases are notoriously difficult for public figures to win, even more so for political office holders. The Times naturally dismissed the lawsuit, claiming the article was just an opinion piece protected by the First Amendment (for blanket protection, I suggest that they declare everything in the New York Times to be an opinion piece.)

The lawsuit is the longest of longshots, but it does serve as a shot across the bow to the biased media that we know what they are doing and it will no longer be shrugged off and ignored. And on the rare chance that Trump does find a judge who allows it to go forward, the discovery phase of how the New York Times creates its anti-Trump articles would be a lot of fun. Trump could just do what liberals who are trying to thwart his agenda do: go shopping for a judge who hates the defendant. Wonder if he’s appointed any of those?...

Investigative reporter John Solomon has outdone himself this time –- which is saying a lot –- with a “whistleblower” interview that confirms all we thought about the FBI’s misuse of their spying programs, and not just FISA.

This whistleblower is not anonymous and, being retired from the Bureau, receives no whistleblower protections. Retired Special Agent Bassem Youssef ran the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit from late 2004 to late 2014. This was the (yes) “warrantless spying” program started after 9/ll that he came to believe was “deeply flawed” but that was kept on, he said, to give Americans a false sense of security and possibly also to enable “inappropriate spying, such as that which targeted President Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

Solomon conducted an interview with Youssef for THE HILL in 2018, and now, in a lengthy podcast for John Solomon Reports, Youssef has added to our understanding of what the intel community was doing. He sat down with Solomon again for the podcast after the release of a report from the White House civil liberties board that outlines the same problems he’d tried to discuss with James Comey and Andrew McCabe for years. “I have no doubt, or very little doubt, that it was used for political spying or political espionage,” he told Solomon.

This was called the NSA program, because it searched call records captured by the National Security Agency. (As I read about this, I couldn’t help but remember James Clapper lying before Congress when asked if the government spied on Americans. “Not...wittingly,” he fibbed unconvincingly.) After Edward Snowden leaked the existence of this program, the FBI performed an audit, which revealed a lot of monetary waste and numerous false positives and negatives. According to Youssef, it also showed “there was collateral damage in terms of civil liberties” of Americans whose phone records were unnecessarily searched or who were wrongly identified as being connected to terrorism. (And here, I can’t help but think of Michael Flynn and all the others who were surveilled and unmasked.)

Youssef discussed his concerns about the NSA program with Andrew McCabe on two separate occasions, the first when McCabe was assistant director for counterterrorism and the second after he’d been promoted to acting executive assistant director, the third most powerful job at the Bureau. Both times, Youssef’s warnings were brushed off. “...He was so adamant about, we need this program,” Youssef told Solomon. “We’re keeping it as this, even though we’re not getting anything out of it.”

So, why should it be so important to McCabe to continue a program that isn’t giving them what it’s supposed to deliver? He must have had some other reason to keep it around.

Likewise, when Youssef went to James Comey in September of 2014, Comey’s only expressed concern after Youssef had laid out all the problems, including the potential for abusing civil liberties, was “is it legal?” Or, in bureaucrat-ese: “Do you have a problem or concerns with the statutory authority?” As Youssef recounted it to Solomon, he told Comey he had no reservations about the program’s legality because the surveillance had to be approved by FISA court judges. (I wonder if he looks back on that comment now and smacks his forehead for being that naive.)

Youssef told Solomon that he had “no doubt whatsoever” that McCabe and Comey were fully briefed and understood the severity of the problems with the NSA program. Yet they continued it.

He said that since his retirement, he has developed “deep concerns” that the NSA program has been abused, just as the FISA program has been, during the Russia “collusion” investigation into the Trump campaign that involved spying on Carter Page. “There is no doubt in my mind now, looking at the backdrop and the information that has come up since 2016 in the media, that the abuses were rampant,” he told Solomon, “and not just for the FISA process, the FISA program, but for other programs that were used to spy on the Trump campaign. That to me is almost the obvious conclusion of what I’ve seen.” He very strongly suspects the NSA program he had run for ten years was used “to handpick selected targeted numbers” for political espionage. No wonder McCabe and Comey wanted so badly to keep it --- it was to be quite useful.

Here are the full details; there’s also a link to the podcast.

All about Mike Bloomberg

February 27, 2020

It seems as if you can’t even look at the glass screen on your washing machine without seeing a commercial for Mike Bloomberg. But as I’ve warned many times, no matter how rich you are, if you get into politics, you can’t dodge that media colonoscopy. And so, some people have been doing deep dives into Bloomberg’s past. Here, Jim Geraughty of National Review reveals “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Mike Bloomberg,” and I’ll bet none of them ever makes it to one of his ads.

I have to warn you that some of the language and subject matter here is not for young eyes or delicate sensibilities, particularly the sexual harassment claims of women who worked in his companies. I’ll let you read those for yourselves. But here are a few other items that I expect will make news:

Bloomberg has claimed that the reason New York City has such stark income inequality is because it attracts billionaires from all over the world, adding, “All I know is from the city’s point of view, we want these people, and why criticize them? Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?”

Bloomberg was also criticized for using his status as Mayor to advance his businesses and for breaking his campaign promise not to raise taxes. Shortly after being elected, property taxes jumped by 18% and a year later, income taxes went up. More taxes followed.

This would be a good place to point out how crazy it is for Democrats who hate Donald Trump for being a billionaire and who falsely accuse him of breaking his campaign promises, using his office to enrich his businesses and cozying up to Russian oligarchs, to demand that replace him with Mike Bloomberg, an even richer billionaire who represents all those things on steroids.

There’s also a section quoting him about all the safety regulations his first business ignored when installing computers, “all without permission, without giving any thought to any fire law or building code. It’s amazing we didn’t burn down some office or electrocute ourselves.” And yet, he assumes that everybody, including criminals, will obey all all his new gun laws.

Finally, I thought that after insulting working women, pregnant women, blacks, Latinos, farmers, factory workers and even socialists, Bloomberg was running out of groups to tick off. But this story won’t win him too many suburban votes:

“At a breakfast in October 2001, he told executives that their companies should not hire people who live in the suburbs because suburbanites are not smart enough. (From the New York Times):

‘[Bloomberg] also suggested that companies should not be interested in hiring people who live in the suburbs because they are not “the best and the brightest.”

“There is a self-selection process,” he said. “People that want to go there aren’t the people that you want to have in your company.”’

I don’t know where he got his ideas about what farmers do, but it sounds as if everything he knows about suburban dwellers came from the song “Somewhere That’s Green” in the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

As long as we’re on that subject, here’s a list of some questions that farmers actually have to deal with on a regular basis. What do you think the odds are that Mr. Bloomberg could ace this quiz?

NYC floods Trump's fault

February 27, 2020

“Wow, That Trump Can Do Anything!” Dept: About 3,000 people in the Taft Houses public housing project in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood were without water for three days due to two water main breaks. And who is responsible for that? Donald Trump, apparently.

Mara Gay of The New York Times editorial board retweeted the news story, sarcastically adding, “But make America great again, right?” When users pointed out that New York State and City are both run by Democrats, Gay stood her ground, snarking back, “Public housing is a federal program, thanks.”

Users were quick to diagnose Ms. Gay’s advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and to point out that public housing is a federal program administered by states and cities, and Taft House is under the umbrella of the New York City Housing Authority.

It's daft enough to blame the problems of a city housing project on Trump, but let me go a little further. The problem wasn’t caused by the housing project; it was caused by the two broken water mains that service the housing project. Those are definitely the full responsibility of Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his lopsided liberal city government. And the problem is hardly limited to the water mains serving the housing project. In fact, New York City is notorious for water pipes held together by ancient rust and fervent wishes.

Here’s a story from February 11th about a broken water main flooding the Lower East Side. It notes that this is the sixth flood from a broken water main in Manhattan in less than a month (in January, a broken water main shut down the subway.) It includes some great photos and videos from all the many flooded streets. Sorry, no picturs of water-skiing pizza rats.

And here’s a New York Times story from February 12th, headlined, “Water Mains Are Bursting All Over New York; Can They Be Fixed?” Maybe they should ask Trump to fix them; he was the one who finally fixed the skating rink that sat around broken for 10 years.

Know what all those broken water mains have in common? They’re all the responsibility of the far-left city government that has all the time in the world for thinking up new ways to impose “social justice” and reduce CO2, but apparently little interest in such boring concerns as policing crime, reducing homelessness, picking up the garbage and replacing decrepit infrastructure.

And yet, they not only blame Trump for their failures to do their own jobs, they also blame him for not taking climate change seriously enough. They claim that because of Trump, New York City may be under water in a hundred years. News flash: with these incompetent political hacks in charge, New York City is already under water, and climate change has nothin’ to do with it.

I’m passing this reader comment on to you because it’s particularly well-articulated and speaks for many who have written to me about the lack of accountability in Washington, DC. It came in reply to my commentary on the FBI lying to the court about George Papadopoulos…

From Melana:

Ok, great! This is all well and good but WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! And yes, I'm YELLING! Flynn lied....he goes to jail....Schiff, Clinton, Brennan, Comey, Holder, Lynch, Obama, Biden, McCabe, all LIE and they are out writing books making millions! Please, answer that question...when is someone going to be accused, tried and go to jail? Those of us with an ounce of common sense can see pretty darn clearly how this has gone in the past and will most likely go in the future. I no longer trust the FISA "secret court"....get rid of them; I don't trust the FBI, CIA, IRS, DOJ or any other agency. There is no "justice" in the United States any longer. The rich and powerful can buy what they want, say what they want and DO what they want (example from last night's debate: Bloomberg was happy to state he "bought" the House in 2018). I grow weary reading all the well-written articles like this one to realize you might as well be reading it sitting in the dark in a closet because no "light" will be brought to the situation other than to continue to hammer home the point that NOTHING WILL EVER BE DONE.

From the Gov:

I’m not so sure that’s true, though even if I thought it likely that none of those people would see the inside of a jail cell, I’d still feel obliged to report to you what’s going on from day to day. If they operated in complete secrecy, their efforts to destroy this country’s founding principles would be even more brazen and much more consequential --- quickly so --- believe me. (That’s why they did so much damage to the process when Hillary was assumed to be the next President: “Ha! No one will ever know what we’re doing!”)

Now we KNOW what they were up to, and still are. Unfortunately, they continue to have most of the media on their side, covering for them, which means we have to work harder to expose them, rather than conclude we're fighting a losing battle and get so sick of the whole thing that we just give up. That would be the worst thing to do –- the very thing they want us to do and are trying to get us to do. (How happy they would be if we said, "Millennials want socialism? Okay, they can HAVE it and then let them see how they like it when the nation goes bankrupt and they're eating the bark off trees!") I can think offhand of several reasons to be hopeful:

1. Hillary did NOT get elected. (By the way, have you noticed that every scandal seems to lead, in some circuitous way, back to her? Amazing, isn’t it?) This one's at the top of my list. Consider that if she had fulfilled her dream of becoming President, the curtain of secrecy would have been fully lowered and nailed to the floor, and we would never have learned about what was going on. Heaven knows what they would be doing now behind the scenes to cement their power forever. Thank the Lord that we dodged that bullet; it was the kind of ammo that explodes inside its target and destroys vital organs with no hope of recovery.

2. Trump DID get elected, in spite of The Swamp's lying and spying, and he’s likely to be re-elected (though we must never take that for granted!) To cite just one accomplishment relevant to my argument, he’s made great strides with judicial appointments, and he needs the opportunity to do much more in that area. In fact, that's likely the biggest reason of all that the left wants him gone.

3. With luck and hard work –- this is where we as Americans need to put our effort –- the House will change hands with the upcoming election, and we can get down to the business of reform after two years of Schiff and Nadler and impeachment madness. (This is so important. Consider that the Democrat-led House is currently working on the bill to re-authorize the FISA process; too bad Republicans aren’t in charge of that right now!)

4. At last we have an attorney general who is set on getting to the bottom of what has gone wrong and, like the President, has the strength to stand up to the partisan attacks against him, which will become even more vicious in coming months. His appointment of John Durham to quietly and methodically lead the criminal investigation into the FBI/DOJ/CIA and “Crossfire Hurricane” appears to have been a masterful move.

5. Along with Durham and his team inside the government, we also have investigators such as Lee Smith and John Solomon in the private sector who refuse to stop digging. As “60 Minutes” doesn’t do its job any more, we should be especially thankful for people like him --- and for their publishers. The success of podcasters such as Dan Bongino and numerous others also gives me reason to hope. Leftists certainly are fighting to control social media --- along with everything else they want to keep a lid on --- but what does not kill us makes us stronger.

That’s five reasons, off the top of my head, not to despair. Something else I just thought of: the American people. I think we still have enough voters with sufficient brains to see that the left has gone off the rails at 200 miles an hour. (Anybody who watched the lineup of Democrat candidates in Tuesday’s embarrassing train-wreck "debate" could see that.) And, instinctively, most of us still react with horror at the idea of a two-tier justice system and government authoritarianism in general. This next election will likely tell the tale. Don’t give up, Melana.

I’ll close with this helpful comment from Don:

Actions and comments about Roger Stone by Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson shows that President Trump will need another 4-year term to just to drain the judicial swamp. How many more swamps are there?

From the Gov:

Thanks, Don. Four more years!

About that "Green New Deal"

February 27, 2020

Here’s some sobering news for anyone who thinks it’s urgent to pass the “Green New Deal” to save the Earth (reminder: it was originally dreamed up as a plan to remake the US economy into a socialist fantasy, with “Oh yeah, and save the Earth" added later as a sales tactic), and who really believes the banana oil that “billionaires and corporations” will pay for it.

A study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Power the Future, and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty estimated the costs of the plan in electricity generation, shipping and logistics, new vehicles and building retrofits in 11 key swing states: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

They found that on average, the Green New Deal would cost the typical household a minimum of $74,287 in the first year. But here’s the good news: annual costs fall to just $47,755 per household for each of the next four years (excluding Alaska), and down to a bargain basement $40,706 each year thereafter. If you’re in Alaska, you’re not so lucky. Alaskans’ estimated cost for year one is $84,584 per household, and it only drops to $51,740 after year five.

Considering the massive compliance costs that will drive manufacturers overseas, ignite mass business bankruptcies and destroy the economy, good luck making enough money to pay your electric bill! Oh, wait, I forgot: billionaires and corporations will pay for it all! Whew! Never mind then…

Investigative reporter Lee Smith, author of the highly recommended book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, has a new must-read installment on the George Papadopoulos case, based on newly declassified FBI memos finally released under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA).

Recall that Papadopoulos spent 14 days in prison after taking a plea agreement. In the sentencing memo that led to his imprisonment, attorney Aaron Zelinsky --- as it happens, he's also one of the four Mueller attorneys who resigned from the Roger Stone case in protest when Attorney General Bill Barr revised the outrageously punitive sentence they’d recommended --- along with fellow special counsel prosecutors Jeannie Rhee and Andrew Goldstein, accused Papadopoulos of telling lies that “undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor [Mifsud] or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States.”

But now that the 302s [official notes] from their interviews with Papadopoulos have been declassified, we can see that the truth was just the opposite. Papadopoulos provided his interviewers with information that would have enabled them, in Smith’s words, “to confront Mifsud with conflicting testimony on a point of critical importance to the stated purpose of the Russia collusion investigation before the professor’s departure.” This was not even mentioned in the “statement of offense,” or plea agreement.

Instead, the Mueller attorneys lied about Papadopoulos, saying that “the defendant’s false statements were intended to harm the investigation, and did so.” His lies “negatively affected the FBI’s Russia investigation,” they wrote, “and prevented the FBI from effectively identifying and confronting witnesses in a timely fashion.” We know now from these 302s that the truth was just the opposite: Papadopoulos had been cooperative.

Papadopoulos told them when and where he thought they might be able to catch up with Mifsud. Smith doesn’t make this observation, but it seems to me that if the FBI didn’t take advantage of these opportunities, it’s because they CHOSE to leave him in the shadows and blame Papadopoulos for their failure to get him on the record. They were depending on the story of Mifsud’s contacts with Papadopoulos and his tale of the Russians having Hillary’s emails to serve as the “predicate” (legal justification) for opening “Crossfire Hurricane” and spying on the Trump team. (We now know that it was really the Steele “dossier.”) Better to leave Mifsud off in some foreign country and NOT involve him further in any official capacity. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, the FBI investigators/Mueller prosecutors (same crew) lied outrageously about Papadopoulos, and Inspector General Michael Horowitz calls them out in his report. Lee Smith’s report includes Appendix 1 from the IG report, showing that their “factual assertions” about Papadopoulos in the FISA warrant were inaccurate. Even then, "inaccurate" suggests they might have made a mistake; this was no mistake.

If you have the time, you might like to read the Executive Summary of Horowitz’s report.

Finally, as long as we’re talking about sneaky partisans masquerading as law enforcement officials, here’s an update on Amy Berman Jackson, the judge who presided in the Roger Stone case and who has just decided that in spite of the outspokenly anti-Trump jury foreperson in his case (and her own extreme bias, displayed in her bizarre courtroom speech), Stone didn’t deserve a new trial. He absolutely does –- it should have been automatic –- and conservative media outlets are justifiably taking her apart. But it seems Judge Jackson isn’t taking criticism very well. I like what Judge Jeanine Pirro had to say about her reaction in a segment on Tuesday with Tucker Carlson. Go get ‘er, Judge!

A reader comment on my report of the violent death of Philip Haney listed numerous eyebrow-raising connections among Clinton/Obama cronies, media people, and powerful leftists. Many of these are known and have been documented, but there were a few curious ones we’d never heard before and decided to check out. Case in point: the one at the top of the list, a claim that Adam Schiff’s sister had married George Soros.

Actually, since George Soros is extremely old –- you’d have to saw him in half and count the rings to know for sure just how ancient –- the more plausible version of this claim is that Adam Schiff’s sister had married Soros’ SON. And, as it turns out, this version has made the rounds online as well. Is either of these stories true?

It’s tempting to believe this, because if Schiff had a Soros connection, it would explain a lot. While looking to see what might have been written about it, we encountered the question on a website called, which describes itself as “a non-partisan website where Internet users can quickly and easily get information about eRumors, fake news, disinformation, warnings, offers, requests for help, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, and humorous or inspirational stories that are circulated by email.” Its mission is “to debunk propaganda, disinformation and misinformation, offer context and nuance to help you better understand where to look next, and trace the effects of so-called ‘fake news’ around the world so you can better understand how to tell the real from the false.”

A worthy goal, wouldn’t you say? As for the Schiff story, they note that George Soros’ son is indeed married to someone whose maiden name is Schiff, but, based on the 1992 wedding announcement, her parents have different given names from Adam Schiff’s parents. (Hard to imagine Adam Schiff having parents, isn't it?) Conclusion: different Schiff. It did occur to me that they don’t address the possibility that there is some more distant familial connection, such as a cousin. It would have been interesting to find that out, but since it wasn’t the exact rumor being addressed and would surely require a LOT of research that we honestly don’t have time for, we left it at that.

As you know, I’m all for sorting out and exposing fake news. But in its effort to do so, at least in this case, the self-described “non-partisan” Truth Or Fiction has actually helped perpetuate it. First, they offered their explanation as to why the false rumors about Schiff had started circulating: it was to discredit him “as congressional investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians heated up in February 2018.” Schiff, they said, had “authored a ‘rebuttal’ to a memo authored by U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the committee...Schiff’s oppositional role made him a natural target for conspiracy theories and fake news designed by some to erode his credibility.”

But what this “fact-checking” organization fails to mention is that Schiff’s “rebuttal,” not Nunes’ memo, is the one that has been debunked, as Schiff eroded his own credibility with his outrageous lying. In his memo, Schiff himself was offering conspiracy theories and fake news, and Truth Or Fiction, if their mission truly is debunking fake news, has missed a great opportunity to point that out. It’s Nunes’ memo that is correct. If Truth Or Fiction is there to provide “context and nuance,” they could have done that here.

They mentioned that Trump tweeted about the Nunes memo at the time that it “totally vindicates” him in the Russia investigation. What they didn’t say is that Trump was right about that.

To be scrupulously fair, we might give them a small benefit of the doubt, as follows: Since the date on this Q&A is February 6, 2018, it’s likely they misread what was going on in the Trump/Russia investigation at the time (perhaps because of...partisanship?) and didn’t realize SCHIFF was lying out the rear end to create fake news and that Nunes and Trump were presenting real news. Now that we know Schiff lied, and since the internet is forever, it would be nice to see Truth Or Fiction go back to this page and provide an update on their answer, rather than perpetuate the implication that Republicans needed to make up false rumors to discredit him. Just a footnote, perhaps, to provide “nuance.” Something. In the interest of real news, of course.

Project Veritas has released another undercover video, this time of ABC reporter David Wright. In it, Wright describes himself as a socialist and espouses several far-left views on topics such as national health care and income inequality. He also calls President Trump an unrepeatable name and says, “We don’t hold him to account,” but admits, “We also don’t give him credit for what things he does do.” And Wright complains that “in television, we have lost any sense of context” and “the truth suffers, the voters are poorly informed.”

ABC claimed Wright had been tricked into speaking without knowing the camera was on, but they suspended him and said he would later be reassigned away from politics. The network said, “Any action that damages our reputation for fairness and impartiality or gives the appearance of compromising it harms ABC News and the individuals involved.”

As Ed Driscoll at Instapundit points out, this is the same network that has former Clinton right-hand man George Stephanopoulos as an impartial news anchor and that recently got a former ABC staffer fired from CBS for allegedly leaking an ABC reporter's complaints about ABC covering up for a politically-connected pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. So if their reputation for fairness and impartiality is stained, don’t look at Project Veritas.

Bonus: Driscoll also notes that Will Sommer of the liberal site Daily Beast called Wright’s suspension “ridiculous,” claiming that he just made “the same critiques of the broadcast news business that you’d hear in any journalism class.” That’s probably true, but the fact that it was opinions on current events from the standpoint of a self-admitted socialist probably says a lot more about current journalism classes – and the state of “journalism” itself – than Mr. Sommer realizes.

With a few rare and now-gone voices of sanity, such as John Delaney, the Democratic Primary has largely resembled a Bizarro World auction where the participants bid against one another to see who can give away the most stuff for “free.”

“Free” is in quotes because, as every child should be taught and obviously, far too few are these days, there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” That’s been true since the dawn of time, and putting the word “Democratic” in front of “socialism” won’t change it, any more than calling useless and counter-productive gun laws "common sense" will make them common sense. Not even the schools’ “free lunch” program is free: taxpayers pay a lot for it, and the money often comes with government strings attached. Or a “quid pro quo,” to coin a phrase.

Just last night, Tom Steyer added paying reparations for slavery to the list, and earlier, Bernie Sanders tossed another new expensive “human right” on the pile: a $1.2 trillion plan called “Free Child Care and Pre-K for All.”

Personally, I can think of few ideas more chilling than every child from the age of three being put into an “education program” designed by Bernie Sanders. But I suppose we should be thankful that the cost of this one is “only” $1.2 trillion, or a little less than 1/4th of the entire current federal budget, rather than his typical plan that costs the entire US GDP.

I know that child care is very important. It’s a real problem for many low-income working people, and the government might have a role to play, although it should be on the state or local level, or better yet, handled by community organizations and churches. But spending nearly a quarter of the entire federal budget to create a new “human right” to free day care is what passes in Bernie’s mind for “common sense” government action that isn’t “radical” at all.

I know that Bernie knows the word “privilege” because when he recently declared health care to be a “human right,” he added, “It is not a privilege!” I’ve written before about how “progressives” can’t win arguments on facts or experience, so they win by rewriting the language (for instance, liberals, leftists, socialists and communists became too infamous as purveyors of tragically failed policies, so they magically became “progressives.”)

But some of us still care about the English language, and how words actually mean things. As children used to be taught, a “right” is something you are endowed with by God, such as the right to free speech. It doesn’t require anyone else giving up their rights to provide it to you. Making a speech in a public park is a “right.” Demanding that the government provide you with a free P.A. system is a “privilege.” Just as demanding that other people attend medical school or deal with government paperwork to spend their time caring for you while others pay higher taxes to cover the cost makes that a “privilege.” You may say that you think health care should be a privilege of citizenship, but by definition, it can never be a “right.” Bernie goes around finding new “rights” the way my grandkids find Easter eggs, but they don’t have a "right" to chocolate eggs: that’s a privilege of me being their grandpa.

And as long as I’m offering a remedial primer on rights, I’d also like to point out that the Bill of Rights doesn’t list rights the government gives to you. It lists rights with which God endows you and that the government has no right to take away from you.


As liberal media people start to panic at the idea of Bernie Sanders being the nominee, they’re finally starting to do some background research into his previous kooky statements (both the ones we’re all known about for years, and some that are more…exotic.) As they put it at the Instapundit blog, Bernie keeps telling you what he is; you should believe him. Mike Bloomberg reportedly plans to spend some of his riches on blasting this oppo research far and wide, like Bernie’s ideas on child care that should make anyone recoil at the idea of a government day care program created by him.

Even more concerning is Bernie’s admiration for communist dictatorships like Cuba, Nicaragua and the USSR. He claims he doesn’t admire “authoritarianism,” but socialism without authoritarianism would be like trying to make coffee without coffee beans. If the government controls production and decides what choices you get to make (and Bernie is on record as thinking capitalism gives you too many choices of deodorants), then if someone disagrees and wants to make a different choice than what the government approves, somebody has to stop them to protect the “system.” Enter the government guns and gulags.

But Bernie is the eternal optimist, always able to see the daisy growing out of the pile of bull manure. First it was Castro’s “literacy program” (which forced people to read communist propaganda), and now he’s praising communist China for lifting more people out of extreme poverty than any other nation on Earth (too bad about all the genocides, forced sterilizations and destroying of churches.)

Actually, it’s socialism and communism that put people into extreme poverty, and capitalism that’s lifted more of them out of it than at any time in history. Even China made the advances they did by allowing limited amounts of capitalist free enterprise (but not too much freedom: see “Hong Kong.”)

Bernie’s go-to model for the US is Denmark, and other “Democratic socialist” Scandinavian nations. But there are things rotten in Denmark, and Bernie just can’t smell them. The problems with his argument include…

(A.) The Nordic nations are not socialist, as their leaders adamantly insist; by some metrics, Denmark has more economic freedom than the US. Norway’s prosperity is largely thanks to off-shore oil wells, which Bernie would surely ban…

(B.) These nations are actually rolling back some of the socialist-lite programs they instituted after realizing they were unaffordable and were eroding their people’s traditional work ethic (if you’ve ever heard the stories about “Norwegian bachelor farmers” and Lutherans on “Prairie Home Companion,” you know that if socialism won’t work on Scandinavians, who are raised to work hard and expect little in return, then it won’t work anywhere.)

(C.) The image of all those Danes who are happy as larks to pay exorbitant taxes in return for those amazing government services is a delusional fiction. Read this commentary from the Bookworm Room blog, on a book written by someone who’s lived there. Example: under that fantastic Danish government health care, the author visited an emergency care center and was told he’d have to make an appointment.

One of the comments on this story includes a great quote. The writer says that when the media were touting Denmark as the “happiest place on Earth” (they’re actually #2 in Europe behind Iceland in anti-depressant consumption), he met a Danish couple applying for US citizenship. When he asked why the Danes they were leaving behind were were so happy, she replied, “Because their expectations are so low.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to replace “Keep America Great” with “Lower Your Expectations.”


The stock market is taking a dive this week amid fears of the coronavirus spreading (or as President Trump called it, “a buying opportunity.”) It’s too early to know just how bad this could become, but it’s also too early to be launching panics over it. Here’s a little information that might help put things in perspective.