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Stunned in New York

May 8, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that he was stunned to learn from new research that 66% of the state’s new hospitalized coronavirus patients had been “sheltering in place” before getting sick.

Some cynics pointed out that it shouldn’t be shocking that if almost everyone is being forced to “shelter in place,” that a majority of any group will be people who were sheltering in place. But it also shows that, as I’ve mentioned before, Edgar Allen Poe was right in “The Masque of the Red Death,” that you can’t hide away from disease by locking yourself up in the house forever. Viruses will circulate, some people will be more susceptible than others and will get sick, and when they do, the worst cases will need to go to the hospital. It should serve as a reminder to the “keep the lockdown going for years” crowd that this was supposed to be a temporary measure to “flatten the curve” – that is, to stretch out the infection rate and keep a massive wave of cases from overwhelming the health care system early on, before we had treatments, ventilators or hospital beds.

We now have all those things, and surpluses of the latter two. It’s time to face the fact that some people will get sick and we’ll have to deal with it, but we’re much better prepared to do so. Most others won’t get sick, and that will create herd immunity, which will help defeat this virus, just as it does all viruses eventually. We don’t want the cure to be worse than the disease, but we may be nearing the point where hiding out and doing nothing while waiting for a cure is becoming worse than the disease.

By the way, something to bear in mind: as we do more and more testing, many more people who are carrying the virus will be identified. This is completely predictable, since we now know that it was much more widespread than we thought, so of course many more tests will identify many more people carrying it. This will be used by the left to claim that in states that are relaxing the lockdown, there's a massive second wave of cases, which is not necessary true. Particularly when the tests were conducted even before the lockdown was relaxed and we’re only now seeing the test results.

Last week, I reminded you of the old term that communist regimes like China and the USSR used to describe wealthy leftists who parroted their propaganda in the West. That term was “useful idiots.” Now, in turn, this story has reminded me of it.

On the other hand, kudos to Miley Cyrus, who admitted she has no clue what the pandemic is like for people who are really suffering from the lockdown. She said the privileged lives of celebrities may be on pause, but "I am comfortable in my space and able to put food on my table and financially stable, and that's just not the story for a lot of people." She said some of her famous friends are hesitant to come on her Instagram talk show because “it almost doesn't feel right for celebrities to share our experience. Because it just doesn't compare."

Good for her for recognizing that. It’s funny how well-heeled liberals who love to accuse other people of exercising too much “privilege” are so blind to their own in this instance. Despite her claim of being clueless, I suspect that Miley Cyrus actually is a lot wiser on this particular issue than many mayors, judges and even Governors I could name.

A MUST-READ UPDATE: After the following commentary appeared in yesterday’s Evening Edition, a magnificent op-ed by James A. Gagliano was posted at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER. The headline says it all: “Michael Flynn was railroaded by Comey’s FBI.” Gagliano concludes that Flynn definitely was set up –- as opposed to Hillary, who got special treatment –- and that this absolutely was driven by politics. His piece sums up just about everything we’ve discussed here and notes other serious problems with the FBI’s activities as well, such as Lisa Page’s involvement in re-writing Flynn’s 302 (interview notes) when she wasn’t even present at the interview.

"Careful examination of fresh facts,” he says, “related to Flynn pleading guilty to Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 (lying to a federal agent) provides an eye-popping and clear-cut case of investigative inconsistencies and partisan political bias.”

Oh, and who is James A. Gagliano? He’s someone who knows all about how things are supposed to be done at the FBI, having worked there for 25 years. He’s now an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University and a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. In addition, he’s a law enforcement analyst for the folks at CNN, who probably won’t be inviting him to any cocktail parties after they’ve read this.

And now, since he's a law enforcement analyst, I just hope he'll tell us what has to happen to put some people behind bars for what they did to an innocent American who served his country for over 30 years.

ORIGINAL COMMENTARY: Recent developments in the Michael Flynn case have led to the release, in just over a week, of a massive amount of “Brady” material that had been withheld literally for years. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell says there's more to come. Believe it or not, there are so many exculpatory documents that, if laid end-to-end, they would reach all the way to...the door of the White House Oval Office.

Figuratively speaking, of course, but I am not kidding. You won’t read about this in very many places, but when we put two and two together, it’s obvious that President Obama HAD to know all about “Crossfire Razor,” as well as the umbrella investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” and was, in fact, quite aware of the Flynn take-down. It's ridiculous to conclude otherwise.

We already knew he had some pretty strong reasons for wanting Flynn out. We knew he didn’t appreciate Flynn’s vocal opposition to his Iran nuclear agreement and hated the thought that Flynn would help Trump dismantle it. Flynn thought it was a terrible deal and had not kept his opinion to himself. The Iran deal and Obamacare were supposed to be the twin stars in Obama’s Legacy Crown. Obama saw Flynn as a major threat.

We also knew that the intelligence community didn’t appreciate Flynn’s plan to streamline the bureaucracy and give the military greater independence in the field, without relying on the CIA, which he thought just slowed them down on the battlefield.

And we knew that military officials didn’t appreciate Flynn’s desire to get their administration “leaner and meaner.” He was a foe of duplication and waste. He was advocating --- horror of horrors --- audits of the Department of Defense and the Pentagon. (Why, we might have found out what Stefan Halper was really being paid to do and what kind of expense account he had.)

These reasons already seemed like enough for “the swamp” to want to take Flynn down. But Andrew C. McCarthy has just offered another reason, the biggest one yet, a reason so obvious to me now that if it were a snake, it would’ve bitten me. Come to think of it, the scenario he describes is full of snakes.

As a preface, let me say that McCarthy is convinced the sneaky “ambush” interview of Flynn had not been long in the works. Emails from January 21 and 22 (Trump was sworn in on January 20) show that they didn’t start out with the surprise perjury trap plan. They needed a way to set Flynn up without giving the White House any notice about the meeting, and this was really the only alternative they had. As Bill Priestap said in his notes, get him to admit to a violation (of the Logan Act??), or get him to lie, so they can prosecute or see him fired. But the interview appears to have been sort of a last-ditch idea, because with Trump about to take office, THEY HAD TO GET RID OF FLYNN RIGHT AWAY.

And the interview had to just come out of nowhere. If they had approached the White House with a request to interview Flynn, the way they were supposed to, the White House could have turned them down. That’s why Comey was so stealthy about it –- he didn’t even officially inform acting Attorney General Sally Yates, because then she would have been obligated to alert White House attorney Don McGahn. This interview was their silver bullet against Flynn, and they HAD to make it count.

So, to the point: why was it so critical that they get Flynn out immediately? It goes much further than the reasons stated above. Simple: it was so the phony “Trump/Russia” investigation would be able to continue into Trump’s presidency. (There are varying opinions regarding what constitutes “treason,” but this sure fits mine.) Flynn was one of Trump’s few allies in his new administration, and, being an experienced member of the intel community himself, he would have found out about the bogus investigation quickly and put a stop to it.

When Comey gave that self-satisfied interview about sending “a couple of guys over,” he made it sound as if, hey, he just did it because of the chaos in the new administration and because he could get away with it. That's not the truth. He did it because they HAD to get this session with Flynn to trap him right away, and they couldn’t risk the Trump White House saying no, or saying maybe in a few weeks, or saying okay but they’d send a lawyer or two to sit in.

As McCarthy says, “Michael Flynn was not the objective. He was the obstacle.” The FBI’s real objective was, he says, “first formed in collaboration with Obama administration officials. Recall the January 5 Oval Office meeting to brief President Obama on Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election. Comey, Brennan, Clapper and Mike Rogers were there to brief the group. The guest list included President Obama, Vice President Biden, national security adviser (and Flynn’s predecessor) Susan Rice, and acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

To put this meeting into perspective, here’s what McCarthy wrote about it in February of 2018.

Importantly, the Trump Tower meeting that ended with a briefing for Trump from Comey about salacious stories in the Steele “dossier” would take place the following day. By that time, the original FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign was set to expire in a couple of weeks, just as Trump was taking office. So the Obama administration would have to figure out how to renew that while Obama was still in. The officials at the January Oval Office meeting needed to keep an investigation going on someone who was about to be sworn in as President.

We all know the January 20 Susan Rice email to herself that says Obama wanted everything done “by the book.” But there’s more of even greater significance that isn’t as widely quoted, and it speaks to their need to keep a GREAT BIG SECRET from the incoming President: “President Obama says he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” And she closes with Obama’s instruction to Comey to inform him “if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.”

Such as, perhaps, an incoming national security adviser who was caught lying about conversations with Russian officials? There you go, the perfect excuse not to share classified information! In one move, they’d get rid of Flynn before he could find out anything AND justify keeping the new President in the dark about the ongoing investigation. At Obama’s direction.

Anyway, the picture is clear now. If you don’t know what a “soft coup” looks like, I’d say it looks exactly like the picture painted by McCarthy after he’s connected all the dots.

In breaking news, the long-awaited August 2, 2017, memo from then-deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope of the Mueller special counsel investigation has been declassified (well, partially), and it’s almost unimaginably bad. No wonder it was kept under wraps for so long.

We’ll have more to say about this on Monday, but for your weekend reading pleasure, Sean Davis at THE FEDERALIST brings the details to you.

Thanks to Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina for his repeated requests that finally led to the document’s release to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Justice Department. It shows that Rosenstein essentially turned Mueller loose to look far beyond whatever dealings with Russia his targets might or might not have had.

In other words, the scope was pretty much unlimited. Mueller was tasked with investigating “1) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and 2) any matters that arose or may arise directly from that investigation.”

"The legal foundation for Mueller’s appointment is crumbling,” Graham said Wednesday night. “I supported the Mueller investigation because I didn’t know [that there was no foundation]. Now I know why Mueller didn’t find anything.” It’s true that Mueller's team never did find any evidence to link any associate of the Trump campaign with Russia’s election interference. OF COURSE he didn't --- there was never any legitimate reason to be looking at that in the first place.

To provide his “foundation” and justify the authorization of a special counsel, Rosenstein pulled from the bogus Christopher Steele “dossier,” which had been funded, through sneaky channels, by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC (same thing), including unsupported claims about Paul Manafort and Carter Page. This was after the “7th Floor” at the FBI knew the problems with the “dossier” and with Steele as a source. Inescapable conclusion: they didn’t give a flying fig about whether the junk “dossier” was true as long as it gave them a pretense to go after the President.

Rosenstein ordered Mueller to investigate allegations that Page “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.” Keep in mind, by this time they had already been spying on him for months and had found nothing to justify this. As you know, there has never been any evidence that Page was working with Russia, and he has never been charged with anything at all.

Rosenstein’s memo casts a wide net; it includes not only Page and Manafort but also Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and one other mystery person whose name is still redacted. (We don't know for sure, but does anyone think it ISN'T President Trump? Who else would still have his name redacted?)

Rosenstein targeted Flynn for activities that, though perfectly appropriate for an incoming national security adviser, could be tied, however ludicrously, to the Logan Act, which dates from 1799 and under which no one has ever been successfully prosecuted. He also targeted Papadopoulos, alleging that he was a secret, unregistered foreign agent of...not Russia, but Israel.

As Sean Davis reports, what is now evident from this memo is that Rep. Davin Nunes of California was correct when he said Rosenstein had used the fictitious Steele “dossier” to justify and direct Mueller’s special counsel probe. What do you know --- Nunes turns out to be right again!

This incredible overreach should be an embarrassment to the FBI. Again, we’ll have much more Monday. In the meantime, here’s some solid reporting from Gregg Re at FOX NEWS, who says the memo “makes clear that Rosenstein didn’t hesitate to explicitly authorize a deep-dive criminal probe into the Trump team that extended well beyond Russian interference efforts.”

"Collusion is not a U.S. crime,” Re explains, “meaning Mueller had a broad mandate to investigate essentially any foreign involvement by these officials in search of some criminal activity. In other words, a fishing expedition. They were going in search of crimes. Contrast this with the way Hillary and her Bleachbit-happy campaign people were treated.

There’s still a giant block of copy in the memo that remains redacted. According to Re, “speculation has swirled” about whether it has to do with investigating President Trump. (Remember, one of the names of the people to be investigated is still redacted.) Message to Bill Barr, who can declassify anything he wants: LET'S SEE IT ALL.

Morning Edition May 7

May 7, 2020

MORNING EDITION

May 7, 2020 

By Mike Huckabee

 

ROSENSTEIN'S "SCOPE" MEMO GAVE MUELLER FREE REIN WITH NO EVIDENCE

In breaking news, the long-awaited August 2, 2017, memo from then-deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope of the Mueller special counsel investigation has been declassified (well, partially), and it’s almost unimaginably bad. No wonder it was kept under wraps for so long.

We’ll have more to say about this on Monday, but for your weekend reading pleasure, Sean Davis at THE FEDERALIST brings the details to you.

Thanks to Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina for his repeated requests that finally led to the document’s release to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Justice Department. It shows that Rosenstein essentially turned Mueller loose to look far beyond whatever dealings with Russia his targets might or might not have had.

In other words, the scope was pretty much unlimited. Mueller was tasked with investigating “1) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and 2) any matters that arose or may arise directly from that investigation.”

read more and comment here>>>

A MUST-READ UPDATE ON THE FLYNN CASE

After the following commentary appeared in yesterday’s Evening Edition, a magnificent op-ed by James A. Gagliano was posted at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER. The headline says it all: “Michael Flynn was railroaded by Comey’s FBI.” Gagliano concludes that Flynn definitely was set up –- as opposed to Hillary, who got special treatment –- and that this absolutely was driven by politics. His piece sums up just about everything we’ve discussed here and notes other serious problems with the FBI’s activities as well, such as Lisa Page’s involvement in re-writing Flynn’s 302 (interview notes) when she wasn’t even present at the interview.

"Careful examination of fresh facts,” he says, “related to Flynn pleading guilty to Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 (lying to a federal agent) provides an eye-popping and clear-cut case of investigative inconsistencies and partisan political bias.”

Oh, and who is James A. Gagliano? He’s someone who knows all about how things are supposed to be done at the FBI, having worked there for 25 years. He’s now an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University and a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. In addition, he’s a law enforcement analyst for the folks at CNN, who probably won’t be inviting him to any cocktail parties after they’ve read this.

And now, since he's a law enforcement analyst, I just hope he'll tell us what has to happen to put some people behind bars for what they did to an innocent American who served his country for over 30 years.

READ MY ORIGINAL PIECE HERE: "SO OBVIOUS NOW: WHY THE FBI NEEDED FLYNN GONE">>>

GREAT READER COMMENT

Thanks to Ray for this comment on "Fun With Research"...

Dear Gov:

All my children and their spouses are liberals, to one degree or another. One daughter says she’s a socialist. And they all have $millions...

Two live in LA and another in Boston. And all of their friends are liberal. Whenever we have a political disagreement, they always use a liberal “fact check” site to shoot me down. I usually use another “fact check” site to shoot down their “fact check” site. Always fun and games with them!

You are right that they don’t want to know that President Trump is right about anything!

Most of my children steer away from political commentary with the exception of the older daughter. She’s an RN and a lawyer. She is very intelligent. She always makes sure everyone knows that she is very intelligent. She writes a book when she makes her argument. I can usually debunk her argument in a couple sentences and a contrarian article off the internet.

It used to bother me. Now I just have fun with it.

From the Gov:

Thanks, Ray! Loved your letter. One of my staffers read somewhere about a study that found highly intelligent people tend to be even MORE gifted than others at rationalizing their beliefs, even mistaken beliefs. You might drop that "nugget" into the next debate with your very intelligent daughter!

CNN SAYS STOP

CNN sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump reelection campaign, claiming that an ad that includes a clip from CNN admitting that Trump’s cut-off of travel from China might have saved up to two million lives was misleading and deceptively edited (Note: it wasn’t, and the travel ban might have saved up to two million lives, if you buy the original death projection.)

I suspect CNN is just upset that they slipped up and allowed anything positive to be said about Trump, and the campaign is humiliating them in front of their fellow media outlets by showing it. Personally, I can’t think of anything funnier than CNN having a conniption fit because they claim President Trump is distributing fake news about them.

SLIP OF THE TONGUE

I’ve written before about how I’m very forgiving of slips of the tongue. I don’t pounce on people, even those with whom I strongly disagree, just because they misspeak, because I know how easy that is to do when you’re tired and repeating the same talking points after the 50th interview/speech that day.

That said, I have to add that it taxes even my forgiving nature when someone who wants to be put in charge of dealing with the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus, and all future pandemics, and every other important problem of the world, not only claims there have been 600,000 virus deaths in the US (the number is actually about 60,000), but says it twice.

On the other hand, it takes more than a slip of the tongue for a group of well-heeled TDS sufferers to put out a commercial that may be the lowest political ad since Barry Goldwater was linked to an atom bomb blowing up a little girl pulling pedals from a daisy. According to this new anti-Trump ad, he is personally responsible for all the deaths from a disease that was unleashed on the entire world by China, as well as all the economic devastation it’s caused (miraculous, since it’s caused upheaval worldwide, not just where Trump is President.)

Creating that vile ad took more than a slip of the tongue. That’s a major slip of the brain.

Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (KJV)

 



Shelley Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner who reopened her salon despite a shutdown order from Democratic county judge Clay Jenkins, was fined $7000 and sentenced to a week in jail for ripping up a cease-and-desist order and defying a temporary restraining order. (I’ll just make note in passing that across America, Democrat officials are letting real criminals out of jail because they might catch the virus there, and putting citizens who just want to work into jail where they might catch the virus because they didn’t do enough to keep from catching the virus. This is liberal logic in a nutshell, with the emphasis, as always, on “nut.”)

Luther argued that her salon was on the verge of bankruptcy, she had to make money to feed her kids and keep her home, and she was about to have to fire all her stylists. She also pointed out that she was following stricter safety guidelines than stores like Walmart that were allowed to stay open, and that hair salons are experts in maintaining sanitary conditions.

Judge Eric Moye, who wrote the restraining order, told her that if she apologized and shut down her salon, he might consider only fining her “in lieu of the incarceration which you’ve demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.” But she refused, replying, “Feeding my kids is not selfish. If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

The fine will cost her $500 a day until the salon is legally allowed to reopen, which under the new guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott is this Friday. Ironically, Luther will be much more likely to contract the virus in jail, where 248 cases have been identified, than at her salon.

Judge Moye told Luther that the “rule of law cannot and does not operate when individuals take it upon themselves to decide” what they can and cannot do. I would remind the judge that the “rule of law” requires laws to be passed by elected representatives of the people, not conjured up by judges in defiance of citizens' constitutional rights.

Ms Luther may end up going to jail, but if so, it could be a Nelson Mandela-style Pyrrhic victory for the state. This case has received nationwide attention, with Luther becoming a symbol of the “Get back to work” movement. A GoFundMe account to pay her fine, bills and legal fees has racked up nearly $170,000 in donations as of this morning.

The judges who think they can intimidate Texans with threats of fines and jail don’t know much about their own state, or the Constitution. They could actually learn a thing or two from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Tuesday, that court heard arguments in a challenge by the Wisconsin legislature to state officials’ authority to impose a lockdown. This is what Justice Rebecca Bradley asked:

“Where in the Constitution did the people of Wisconsin confer authority on a single, unelected cabinet secretary to compel almost 6 million people to stay at home, close their businesses and face imprisonment if they don’t comply… Isn’t it the very definition of tyranny?”

Memo to President Trump: I think we’ve just found your next Supreme Court nominee.

Hold on! So you mean there’s a downside to being a government snitch? Who knew?!

After ordering “non-essential” businesses to shut down, St. Louis County created an online form that encouraged people to rat on any businesses they saw that dared to open. More than 900 people filed complaints, but the county didn’t publicize the fact that the form was an official county record, which means it’s public information.

A man named Jared Totsch got a copy and posted it on Facebook, exposing the names of all the snitches, who are now worried about retaliation. To which he replied, "I'd call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around, comes around. They are now experiencing the same pain that they themselves helped to inflict on those they filed complaints against."

One of the people was interviewed by a local TV station, and she complained that she and two other people in her home have auto-immune issues and were frustrated by seeing lines outside stores that should have been closed. Understandable, but if you’re in a high-risk category, you would have to take more precautions anyway, like not standing in those lines. And the people who ran the businesses, as well as the people who obviously needed their services enough to stand in those lines, were probably more than frustrated by being told to just shut up and go bankrupt.

At this point, nobody should be taking unnecessary risks, but that doesn’t mean that every business must shut down indefinitely while we all hide inside plastic bubbles like the young John Travolta. As Issac Newton pointed out long ago, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If the government doesn’t want radical, aggressive, irresponsible reactions to its policies, then it needs to stop imposing radical, aggressive, irresponsible policies.