Today’s corporations will go to some pretty absurd lengths to appeal to eco-consumers, but Burger King has just raised (or lowered) the bar with a commercial for its new burger made from cows that burp and fart less greenhouse gas than your average bovine. The cows are on a lemongrass diet that reduces methane. The commercial features young viral celebrity/country music yodeler Mason Ramsey extolling in song the virtues of less-flatulent cows.

Now, if only we could get green politicians like AOC to emit less gas.

As long as we’re on the subject, Amazon is also running an inadvertently horrifying eco-ad, as my bird-loving writers Pat and Laura, who rescue homeless parrots, point out. The spot starts with white text on a black background, listing all the ways in which Amazon is going green, such as electric vehicles, to eliminate carbon emissions. This is accompanied only by the lulling, natural sound of birds chirping.

Then at the end of the ad, the text gives way to video of how they plan to accomplish this: with a field full of spinning wind power turbines. Or as Pat and Laura call them, “Bird Cuisinarts.” Those spinning blades dice, slice, chop and slaughter countless birds, as well as bats that are also vital to the eco-system. All to produce a tiny fraction of the clean energy that can be generated by a safe, modern nuclear plant. Enjoy the bird songs while you can.

A few days ago, I told you about the new book FALLOUT from investigative reporters John Solomon and Seamus Bruner, and late yesterday, John Solomon had an update about the John Durham probe.

He said that Durham has been conducting “a lot” of interviews and going through a lot of documents; apparently, his investigation has been fairly unhampered by the virus. He said there have been discussions about plea bargains and cooperation from certain individuals, though, of course, he couldn’t name names.

He reported on Thursday’s HANNITY TV show that “multiple sources” with direct knowledge of the U.S. attorney’s investigation had informed him that Durham is looking specifically at the Defense Department’s Office Of Net Assessments, which had kept “confidential human source” Stefan Halper under contract to “write reports.” Durham wants to know if the Defense Department was actually funding Halper’s undercover (SPYING) activities “prior to the FBI having a predicate to do so.” (Never mind that the so-called “predicate” used later by the FBI was phony.)

Recall that the Office Of Net Assessments, like all offices at the Defense Department and within the intel community, would have been subject to audits and likely sweeping budget cuts if former national security adviser Michael Flynn had kept his job. That one fact probably explains a lot about what happened to him. Perhaps justice will be done.

"Listen, all signs are pointing to the building of a criminal indictment,” Solomon said. “Maybe it’ll come up around, just before or after Labor Day.”

But, incredibly, former special counsel Robert Mueller is still defending the “Trump/Russia” investigation, even though doing so involves contradicting his own report. Right after President Trump commuted Roger Stone’s prison sentence last week, Mueller wrote an op-ed for the WASHINGTON POST that, as reported by RealClear Investigations, didn’t just attack Stone but also disputed “broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives improper.”

And why would critics (like me) be making such claims? Well, maybe it’s because after years of examining their bogus “investigation” and finally obtaining documents and testimony that had been withheld even from defense attorneys, we could see that their investigation was illegitimate and their motives were improper.

Mueller’s op-ed contradicts the official findings concerning George Papadopoulos, whose barroom conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was NOT evidence that “the Russians had signaled” anything to him and also was NOT even mentioned by Papadopoulos to anyone in Trump’s campaign. The record, in the form of a recently-declassified electronic communication (EC) that officially opened “Crossfire Hurricane,” shows it was nothing but hearsay, with no evidence it had come from the Russian government or even from a Russian national.

It seems Downer didn’t know at the time he passed along this hearsay to the FBI that it had come to Papadopoulos by way of Josef Mifsud, a mysterious Maltese academic. Although former FBI Director James Comey has claimed without evidence in a WASHINGTON POST op-ed of his own that Mifsud was a Russian agent, the U.S. government has never tied him in that way to Russia, and the Mueller report takes care not to label him as such. Likewise, when Andrew McCabe was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 –- this testimony has only recently been declassified –- he said the tip given to Papadopoulos by Mifsud about Hillary’s emails was not considered evidence of a Russia connection.

But Mueller is still pushing this debunked narrative. “By late 2016,” he writes in WAPO, “the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate.” No, Mr. Mueller, they did not.

At his unimpressive congressional hearing a year ago, Mueller declined to comment on Mifsud’s identity or explain why the FBI hadn’t arrested him after his interview and charged him with perjury. After all, the Mueller report claims that he made false statements. Why didn’t they treat him the same shameful way they did Roger Stone?

Speaking of Roger Stone, Mueller goes on to vilify him in ways that don’t match the conclusions of his investigation. In the op-ed, Mueller writes that he “lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks” and also about “the existence of written communications with his intermediary.”

But as RealClear Investigations reports, “that claim from Mueller is at odds with his investigation’s failure to establish that Stone HAD [emphasis mine] an intermediary to WikiLeaks.” Stone had claimed this, but it turned out that the two individuals ever singled out by name, Randy Credico and Jerome Corsi, didn’t actually make contact with WikiLeaks. (Credico did interview Julian Assange on his radio show in August of 2016, but this had nothing to do with being a go-between with Stone.)

There's only one known contact between WikiLeaks and Stone from before the 2016 election, and it was WikiLeaks tweeting to Stone to stop making “false claims of association.”

Stone claimed to have advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of email material, but Mueller has never asserted that he actually did. According to RealClear Investigations, Stone did have “minimal and inconsequential” contact with Guccifer 2.0, but it was actually exculpatory for Stone, as none of the three short Twitter messages even mentioned the stolen DNC emails.

Former senior attorney for the special counsel Andrew Weissmann went even further in his own op-ed, this one in THE NEW YORK TIMES three days later. Weissmann, now a legal analyst for MSNBC (of course), wants to continue the investigation and see Roger Stone go before a grand jury. He still suspects that Stone hid incriminating evidence to try to help Trump, and by gum, he’s going to get to the bottom of this and find out what it is!

I think that even now, many people are unclear about just what Roger Stone was convicted of lying about. Did you know he wasn’t even accused of lying about any actual coordination regarding those emails? That’s because there WAS no coordination. Stone was accused and convicted of making false statements about his FAILED efforts to obtain information about WikiLeaks during the campaign. That’s all. He never was able to actually do it. And by the time they charged him with lying, he had already corrected the record, just not under oath. (They didn’t swear him in and give him the chance to do that, because then they wouldn’t have been able to indict him for lying. That alone is enough reason for Trump to commute his prison sentence.) Even the NYT itself reported that Stone “had no real ties to WikiLeaks.”

The contrast between Weissmann’s op-ed and the known facts of the Stone case, as laid out by RealClear Investigations, makes for some entertaining, if perplexing, reading. Weissmann’s inability to stop chasing windmills when it comes to Trump reminds me a lot of someone else who has been in the news lately. Emmet Sullivan.

Crime in NYC

July 17, 2020

The NYPD Crime Stoppers are offering a $2500 reward for the identity of a man who brutally assaulted police officers with a bat during a protest at the Brooklyn Bridge. Video of him and more information is at this link:

Video also appears to show the “peaceful protesters” receiving a shipment of bats from a car shortly before the protest.

I’ll let you know whether Mayor DeBlasio blames the bat assault on the cops or President Trump. If you think I’m being flippant, note that the leftist Mayor of Portland blames the street violence and graffiti in his city on the Department of Homeland Security Agents there, and he’s demanding that they clean the graffiti off and leave town, even as he refuses to let Trump send in federal troops to end the lawlessness in his own city. I guess he must’ve heard all the talk about DeBlasio being the worst mayor in America and said, “Hold muh latte!”…

In truth, all of this lawlessness, violence and filth is going on in cities run for decades entirely by Democrats. It’s the natural order of things that leftists impose their insane failed policies and make a huge mess. On rare occasions, the people wake up and realize it’s necessary to elect Republicans to clean up the left’s disasters (as Rudy Giuliani did in New York.) But even then, sadly, memories are short. Voters start to think that a clean, successful city runs itself. They forget what it was like, so they think it's safe to put a DeBlasio back in power. And they discover just how quickly it can all slide back into the sewer.

If you want to see what happens when you elect leftists for too long, and then let them institute their own “solutions” to the problems they caused themselves instead of calling in a Republican to fix it, look at this shocking report from San Francisco. First, the city’s leaders let it be taken over by homeless people with crime, mental and addiction problems. Then came COVID-19 (on top of all the other diseases that were coming back from the Middle Ages.) Leftist solution: put the homeless people into the empty hotels. So how is that "fix" working out? The words “disaster” and “pandemonium” in the headline should give you a clue.

I have to warn you, this story requires a strong stomach to read. You probably should also avoid it if you’re prone to spikes in your blood pressure from things that are infuriating.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham appeared on Wednesday’s HANNITY TV show to talk about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s efforts to declassify an approximately 40-page FBI memo critical of the Steele “dossier,” and also to question the lead intel analyst and a case agent who interviewed Steele’s Russian “sub-source” –- actually Steele’s employee –- twice, first in January and later in March of 2017. (The warrant to spy on Carter Page was renewed in April and June of 2017, after the problems with the “dossier” were known. This is documented, and it is a crime.)

Sen. Graham didn’t mention names, and in the IG report the lead analyst is identified only as Supervisory Intelligence Analyst, never by name, but I think Graham must have been talking about this guy.

Yes, I know; the headline alone is a laff riot, if you want to laugh until you cry. Profiled here by Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations, our “person of interest” is senior FBI analyst Brian J. Auten. He was central to the vetting process for the “dossier” that was used in the FISA application and three renewals to spy on Carter Page, but it’s also true that since 2010, he has taught a class on...wait for it...the ethics of spying at Patrick Henry College. (Motto: “Give me irony, or give me death!” Kidding.)

As Sperry reports, Auten “seems to have violated his own stated “golden rule” for spying, which involves using ‘the least intrusive standard” for surveilling U.S. citizens to avoid harming “a subject’s reputation, dignity and privacy.” Yes, we’ve seen how that standard was respected in the case of Carter Page, who was actually accused of being a Russian agent in order for the FBI to get inside Trump’s 2016 campaign. Page was put through the wringer over that horrific charge, telling RealClear Investigations that based on leaks to the media, people believed he was a “traitor” who conspired with the Kremlin to help Trump. He received death threats. Imagine if that happened to you.

Sperry goes into detail describing Auten’s involvement in downplaying the problems with the “dossier.” It’s a lengthy article, but I encourage you to read it (you won't be tested), just to see how one person in the right place within a bureaucracy can guide a chain of events. It's also quite interesting to see how a so-called “ethicist” can so skillfully rationalize his own lack of ethics.

Sperry reports that Auten’s name is indeed on a list of witnesses Sen. Graham intends to call now that he has received subpoena power for the Judiciary Committee, and also that Graham says they’ll be focusing on the investigators.

Incidentally, last December, FBI Director Christopher Wray wrote Inspector General Michael Horowitz to tell him he’d put every employee involved in the 2016-2017 FISA application process through “additional training in ethics” with “an emphasis on privacy and civil liberties.”

Don't know about you, but I feel so much better now. Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if we found out Brian J. Auten taught the class? No, really, I wonder if he did.

With all the political and racial unrest going on in the country right now, there’s a very different --- and extremely welcome (to me) --- kind of unrest going on at the same time. It’s happening in the media, as “cancel culture” starts to eat its own.

Yesterday, we brought you the story of Bari Weiss, a self-described “centrist” journalist who very publicly left her job as a writer and editor at THE NEW YORK TIMES after finding out what it was like there to try to express an individual, intellectually curious, non-sanctioned thought or even to report a story that didn't advance a leftist, anti-Trump agenda. In case you didn’t see her open resignation letter, here it is at her website. There is still smoke coming off of it.

Weiss justifiably slams media people, particularly at the NYT, for their sense of self-importance. “A new consensus has emerged in the press,” she writes, but perhaps especially at this paper that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”

Seems to me that it should have been enough that Weiss was upset at Donald Trump’s victory and even cried at her desk when he won. But, no, that wasn’t nearly enough. In fact, they were all too busy sobbing at their own desks to notice her dismay. She soon found out that in the new Era of Trump, all so-called “journalists” were required from that day forward to have a single-minded focus on destroying...HIM.

(By the way, I thought it was interesting that Weiss’s colleagues called her a “Nazi” while also complaining that she was "writing about Jews again.” Just wondering: if they’re complaining about her writing about Jews, just who are the Nazis here? Do these so-called professional journalists even know what a Nazi is? But I digress.)

Brian Kilmeade, subbing for Tucker Carlson on his Tuesday evening show, played a clip of Ms. Weiss from “The Joe Rogan Experience,” talking about what happened. She makes a very interesting point about “cancel culture”: “The people who are inoculated from it [the ostracism, firings, etc.] are people that are already extremely successful and can take the risk. It’s why Ricky Gervais can be Ricky Gervais; it’s why J. K. Rowling can tweet what she tweeted a few months ago and survive it, because they’ve already accumulated enough capital. The people that I hear from that are completely screwed by it are people like artists and poets and untenured professors are aren’t famous and no one knows about, and are, you know, having to go with a begging get support after they’ve, you know, made a bad joke, or whatever it is.”

Weiss apparently hadn’t reached the point in her career at which she could get away with expressing her own thoughts. Thank goodness actor/comedian Ricky Gervais had attained that level by the time Hollywood “cancel culture” inspired him to ridicule it, which he has done mercilessly. And he hasn’t let up. (My theory: he knows what he says is really what most people think.)

Kilmeade pointed out that another NYT editor, Liz Spayd, sounded very much like Weiss in an interview with Carlson back in December of 2016 (right after Trump was elected). Spayd lost her job (surprise!) shortly after doing that interview. “I consider it almost an unrecognized point of view,” she said, “that The Times has that comes from being in New York, being in that, you know, in a certain circle, and seeing the world a certain way, not being in touch with people who don’t live like them or don’t live in cities and who are the ones who elected Donald Trump to the presidency. They’re just out of touch with that.”

I’ll say it again: they should have just read my 2016 book GOD, GUNS, GRITS, & GRAVY.

Journalists who try to challenge their more radical, “woke” colleagues at The Times to look outside their safe little thought-bubble tend not to last long there. It’s a hostile work environment, to say the least. Weiss believes there are many in the same position she was in; they just do what they know is expected of them and don’t speak up. I would imagine that even some of the editors directing and correcting their underlings are doing it out of fear of “cancel culture,” protecting their own job security.

But now Andrew Sullivan has left his job at THE NEW YORKER. Sullivan is someone who does have quite a big name. He says the underlying reasons for his exit are “pretty self-evident” and that he’ll address them in his last column on Friday. Sullivan also has backed Weiss, saying, “The mob bullied and harrassed a young woman for thoughtcrimes. And her editors stood by and watched.”

Someone else has resigned, not from the media but from another influential post in popular culture: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art senior curator of painting and sculpture Gary Garrels. As reported by Robby Soave at REASON magazine, he was accused of “toxic white supremacist beliefs” in a petition from museum employees for daring to say he would still accept works of art from white men. I am not kidding –- that is ALL he said. I wish Garrels, after 20 years with the museum, had put up more of a fight against such a ludicrous accusation, but at least this puts into focus how a small minority of crazies are trying to run the show. More sane people will become fed up with this type of radical orthodoxy, and more WILL fight back.

Finally, today's look at what’s happening with media wouldn’t be complete without examining how it’s blurring the lines between news and outright campaign advocacy., known as “Courier,” was created and funded by the Democrat-aligned digital organization Acronym. It is absolutely political, but because it’s organized as a media outlet, it doesn’t have to disclose its donors or the total dollars it spends promoting Democrat politicians. (In that way, it’s a lot like Black Lives Matter not having to report its source of funding.)

According to this story in POLITICO, “Experts in media ethics and misinformation worry that the advocacy-cloaked-in-journalism tactic is pouring gasoline on a raging fire of consumer misinformation and online disinformation." Yes, there is that, but I also agree with those who say that this trend will further undermine the public’s trust in news, which has already fallen to about as low as it can go. It gets harder all the time just to find accurate information on a candidate or an issue, even as partisan “fact-checkers” abound. That’s why we’re trying so hard here to sort it all out and be a valued and trusted source.

Vote by mail

July 15, 2020

Republicans warn that voting by mail would be a recipe for massive vote fraud (it would.) But that’s only part of the problem. It would also mean trusting the integrity of our elections to the US Post Office. Nothing against the hard-working men and women of the postal service, but there’s a reason why there so many jokes about things being lost in the mail.

Here’s a round up of the latest vote-by-mail stories. For instance, in Wisconsin, it was an absolute disaster, with ballots never getting to voters, arriving at the wrong destinations or getting back too late to be counted. The primary was April 7th, and they’re still not sure who the valid winners were…

California election officials have rejected over 100,000 mail-in ballots from their recent primary, due to mistakes…

And in West Virginia, a mail carrier pleaded guilty to changing the party affiliation on some mail-in ballots. He claimed he did it as “a joke.”

If all this doesn’t convince Democrats to abandon the idea of voting by mail, maybe this will:

The mail carrier in West Virginia changed the party affiliation on those ballots from Democrat to Republican. Maybe that will actually make Democrats care about stopping vote fraud.